Commuters 'priced off trains' following latest inflation-busting rail fare rise

Commuters 'priced off trains' following latest inflation-busting rail fare rise

Commuters 'priced off trains' following latest inflation-busting rail fare rise

First published in News
Last updated
Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

Train fares will rise ahead of inflation for another year, the government has announced.

The 3.5 per cent rise will come into force next January.

It will mean an extra £6.11 on a monthly season ticket from Surbiton or Chessington South to London Waterloo.

But some companies could use a "flex" rule to raise prices by an extra 2 per cent.

Martin Abrams, of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "The expense of taking the train to work has become a huge part of living costs.

"If the government doesn't put an end to above-inflation fare increases quickly, ordinary commuters will be priced off the train."

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin defended the rise.

He said: "We fully recognise there's more to do to bring down the cost of rail travel in Britain."

"But we need to do it responsibly and we can't spend money we don't have."

This year ministers capped fare rises to keep them level with inflation.

No such plan has yet been announced for the 2015 rise.

Comments (17)

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12:38pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Randyrain says...

That quote "we can't spend money we don't have" is beneath contempt and assumes we are all morons. Perhaps we are for accepting these price hikes (effectively regressive tax hikes) year after year.
There is a clear benefit to the whole economy for expanding rail travel which will actually create more revenue for the Government in the medium term. It's patently unfair and economically inefficient to put the burden on train users to fund any increases in investment.
What actually happens is the poorest in society has to "spend money we don't have". The only difference is the Government can borrow at extremely low interest rates (because it's the 6th largest economy in the world) and the least well off can go to Wonga.
That quote "we can't spend money we don't have" is beneath contempt and assumes we are all morons. Perhaps we are for accepting these price hikes (effectively regressive tax hikes) year after year. There is a clear benefit to the whole economy for expanding rail travel which will actually create more revenue for the Government in the medium term. It's patently unfair and economically inefficient to put the burden on train users to fund any increases in investment. What actually happens is the poorest in society has to "spend money we don't have". The only difference is the Government can borrow at extremely low interest rates (because it's the 6th largest economy in the world) and the least well off can go to Wonga. Randyrain
  • Score: 19

12:56pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Tony from Surbiton says...

So we can look forward to getting a seat on the train in the morning with all these people being 'priced off the trains'. We'll see....
So we can look forward to getting a seat on the train in the morning with all these people being 'priced off the trains'. We'll see.... Tony from Surbiton
  • Score: 10

12:58pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Tony from Surbiton says...

Randyrain wrote:
That quote "we can't spend money we don't have" is beneath contempt and assumes we are all morons. Perhaps we are for accepting these price hikes (effectively regressive tax hikes) year after year.
There is a clear benefit to the whole economy for expanding rail travel which will actually create more revenue for the Government in the medium term. It's patently unfair and economically inefficient to put the burden on train users to fund any increases in investment.
What actually happens is the poorest in society has to "spend money we don't have". The only difference is the Government can borrow at extremely low interest rates (because it's the 6th largest economy in the world) and the least well off can go to Wonga.
Yes, let's borrow more money, after all we are only £1,411,739,000,000 in debt. Although that figure is out of date as it increases by approximately £5170 every second. Money to burn......
[quote][p][bold]Randyrain[/bold] wrote: That quote "we can't spend money we don't have" is beneath contempt and assumes we are all morons. Perhaps we are for accepting these price hikes (effectively regressive tax hikes) year after year. There is a clear benefit to the whole economy for expanding rail travel which will actually create more revenue for the Government in the medium term. It's patently unfair and economically inefficient to put the burden on train users to fund any increases in investment. What actually happens is the poorest in society has to "spend money we don't have". The only difference is the Government can borrow at extremely low interest rates (because it's the 6th largest economy in the world) and the least well off can go to Wonga.[/p][/quote]Yes, let's borrow more money, after all we are only £1,411,739,000,000 in debt. Although that figure is out of date as it increases by approximately £5170 every second. Money to burn...... Tony from Surbiton
  • Score: -7

1:12pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Mulder says...

Firstly, your calculation is incorrect. Based on a 3.5% increase, the monthly increase for a season ticket is £5.92. Based on inflation, it would be £3.21 per month, so the effective increase is thus £2.71 each month.

I hardly think that we will suddenly see thousands of people disappear off the trains, so the headline is typical of our media - much hype about nothing.

I am more than happy to pay the extra £2.71 a month - at least in our area, the railways are constantly improving (people's memories are very short!!). Stations in the area have been deep cleaned, step free access installed at more locations, safety improvements like platform barriers at Wimbledon, platform lengthening for longer trains, commitment to reduce the gap at Norbiton station to name a few of the improvements I have seen in the last few years.

We cannot have our cake and eat it. If we are going to demand a better and more reliable railway, then we should be willing to pay for it. We constantly demand more investment in the railways, but it should neither increase taxes nor increase fares. Well where should the money come from then? Just borrow and create more and more debt?
Firstly, your calculation is incorrect. Based on a 3.5% increase, the monthly increase for a season ticket is £5.92. Based on inflation, it would be £3.21 per month, so the effective increase is thus £2.71 each month. I hardly think that we will suddenly see thousands of people disappear off the trains, so the headline is typical of our media - much hype about nothing. I am more than happy to pay the extra £2.71 a month - at least in our area, the railways are constantly improving (people's memories are very short!!). Stations in the area have been deep cleaned, step free access installed at more locations, safety improvements like platform barriers at Wimbledon, platform lengthening for longer trains, commitment to reduce the gap at Norbiton station to name a few of the improvements I have seen in the last few years. We cannot have our cake and eat it. If we are going to demand a better and more reliable railway, then we should be willing to pay for it. We constantly demand more investment in the railways, but it should neither increase taxes nor increase fares. Well where should the money come from then? Just borrow and create more and more debt? Mulder
  • Score: 6

1:28pm Tue 19 Aug 14

LiberalsOut says...

Running a train company is a licence to print money with the Governments backing
The tax payer pays for the rolling stock and upkeep of the tracks etc
Running a train company is a licence to print money with the Governments backing The tax payer pays for the rolling stock and upkeep of the tracks etc LiberalsOut
  • Score: 13

1:46pm Tue 19 Aug 14

aurehsalla says...

"We fully recognise there's more to do to bring down the cost of rail travel in Britain. But we need to do it responsibly and we can't spend money we don't have."

How about reducing the amount that you pour into shareholders pockets then? That should free up some of the money that we don't have.

Oh yes, that's because you ARE the shareholders and that wouldn't be in your interests. Silly me.
"We fully recognise there's more to do to bring down the cost of rail travel in Britain. But we need to do it responsibly and we can't spend money we don't have." How about reducing the amount that you pour into shareholders pockets then? That should free up some of the money that we don't have. Oh yes, that's because you ARE the shareholders and that wouldn't be in your interests. Silly me. aurehsalla
  • Score: 20

3:03pm Tue 19 Aug 14

PeterM says...

I used to travel into London Bridge each day from Wallington and then had a 20 minute walk to my office (plus a 20 minute walk to Wallington station in the first place). Over the course of a month out of the 40 journeys I would make (20 into work and 20 home again) only about three will have run on time with no delays. The worst was when it took me over two hours door to door. With trains only every half an hour it is very unusual if I can get a seat.

Because of the delays and the fact that on the way into London I had to stand most of he time, I now cycle in each day. Not only is it quicker by bike, an hour door to door compared with at least an hour and 15 by train and often more, it is obviously cheaper and I get a seat all the way. It would be quicker than an hour but all these cars and vans keep getting in my way. I travelled in one Saturday with no traffic and did the journey in just 45 minutes!!!

Sorry Southern, but your poor overpriced service has lost a customer.
I used to travel into London Bridge each day from Wallington and then had a 20 minute walk to my office (plus a 20 minute walk to Wallington station in the first place). Over the course of a month out of the 40 journeys I would make (20 into work and 20 home again) only about three will have run on time with no delays. The worst was when it took me over two hours door to door. With trains only every half an hour it is very unusual if I can get a seat. Because of the delays and the fact that on the way into London I had to stand most of he time, I now cycle in each day. Not only is it quicker by bike, an hour door to door compared with at least an hour and 15 by train and often more, it is obviously cheaper and I get a seat all the way. It would be quicker than an hour but all these cars and vans keep getting in my way. I travelled in one Saturday with no traffic and did the journey in just 45 minutes!!! Sorry Southern, but your poor overpriced service has lost a customer. PeterM
  • Score: 9

4:09pm Tue 19 Aug 14

SteveC1964 says...

Meanwhile fuel duty on petrol and diesel for cars remains unchanged for the foreseeable future and petrol is cheaper than in 2011. Clearly this is not the greenest Government.
Meanwhile fuel duty on petrol and diesel for cars remains unchanged for the foreseeable future and petrol is cheaper than in 2011. Clearly this is not the greenest Government. SteveC1964
  • Score: 6

1:21am Wed 20 Aug 14

buggsie says...

We all the know the money made from the increase in fares will go straight into the pockets of the 'fat cats' running the rail line and no where near the costs of improving the service.
We all the know the money made from the increase in fares will go straight into the pockets of the 'fat cats' running the rail line and no where near the costs of improving the service. buggsie
  • Score: 7

11:50am Wed 20 Aug 14

ResidentTony says...

Of course the issue of how the railways are run and financed is an important one, among many others. But the BBC had the "news" that fares were going up by 3.5% (but maybe less) as the first item on their TV news, ahead of important international stories. Talk about making something out of nothing. We switched over to ITN, who had their priorities right - the railways were the fifth item.
Of course the issue of how the railways are run and financed is an important one, among many others. But the BBC had the "news" that fares were going up by 3.5% (but maybe less) as the first item on their TV news, ahead of important international stories. Talk about making something out of nothing. We switched over to ITN, who had their priorities right - the railways were the fifth item. ResidentTony
  • Score: -6

2:20pm Wed 20 Aug 14

kingstonpaul says...

With so many rail companies in the hands of foreign owners (e.g. Arriva, which is part of German Deutsche Bahn), these fare rises are being used to subsidise lower fares in their home countries. The cost of commuting in Germany is about 50% of what it is in the UK.
With so many rail companies in the hands of foreign owners (e.g. Arriva, which is part of German Deutsche Bahn), these fare rises are being used to subsidise lower fares in their home countries. The cost of commuting in Germany is about 50% of what it is in the UK. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 5

4:59pm Wed 20 Aug 14

aspicer says...

With the economy picking up the UK, it is a good place to trade and do business, as there is plenty of money to be made.
Unfortunately, very little of it stays in the country, with Multi-nationals taking profits all too easily abroad, without having to invest back in the UK. The Gov't are making it too easy to drain the economic benefits of our econmy & out of the country, with putting little back in.
From your local Polish builder sending his money home each month, to the well paid footballers sending money back, to the likes of Starbucks & Amazon making profits from the UK, but the economic benefits of such wealth is not staying here. We are in danger of becoming a tax-payer subsidised cash-cow for the rest of the World.
With the economy picking up the UK, it is a good place to trade and do business, as there is plenty of money to be made. Unfortunately, very little of it stays in the country, with Multi-nationals taking profits all too easily abroad, without having to invest back in the UK. The Gov't are making it too easy to drain the economic benefits of our econmy & out of the country, with putting little back in. From your local Polish builder sending his money home each month, to the well paid footballers sending money back, to the likes of Starbucks & Amazon making profits from the UK, but the economic benefits of such wealth is not staying here. We are in danger of becoming a tax-payer subsidised cash-cow for the rest of the World. aspicer
  • Score: 2

8:16pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Emily_Brothers says...

This announcement means that Sutton passengers will need to pay an extra £89.10, up to £1,709.10, next year for a Season Ticket to all London terminals. Sutton commuters travelling through zone 1 to 6 will need to pay up to £2,413.84 per year, an extra £125.84 if the government doesn’t apply a cap. Sutton’s hardworking families can’t go on like this. That’s why a Labour government will cap fares on every route and drive through the biggest reform of the railways since privatisation, delivering a better deal for passengers and taxpayers.


Emily
Labour Parliamentary Candidate
Sutton and Cheam
This announcement means that Sutton passengers will need to pay an extra £89.10, up to £1,709.10, next year for a Season Ticket to all London terminals. Sutton commuters travelling through zone 1 to 6 will need to pay up to £2,413.84 per year, an extra £125.84 if the government doesn’t apply a cap. Sutton’s hardworking families can’t go on like this. That’s why a Labour government will cap fares on every route and drive through the biggest reform of the railways since privatisation, delivering a better deal for passengers and taxpayers. Emily Labour Parliamentary Candidate Sutton and Cheam Emily_Brothers
  • Score: -4

4:10am Thu 21 Aug 14

ResidentTony says...

Emily_Brothers wrote:
This announcement means that Sutton passengers will need to pay an extra £89.10, up to £1,709.10, next year for a Season Ticket to all London terminals. Sutton commuters travelling through zone 1 to 6 will need to pay up to £2,413.84 per year, an extra £125.84 if the government doesn’t apply a cap. Sutton’s hardworking families can’t go on like this. That’s why a Labour government will cap fares on every route and drive through the biggest reform of the railways since privatisation, delivering a better deal for passengers and taxpayers.


Emily
Labour Parliamentary Candidate
Sutton and Cheam
But Sutton is in zone 5, so why would six zones be purchased?
[quote][p][bold]Emily_Brothers[/bold] wrote: This announcement means that Sutton passengers will need to pay an extra £89.10, up to £1,709.10, next year for a Season Ticket to all London terminals. Sutton commuters travelling through zone 1 to 6 will need to pay up to £2,413.84 per year, an extra £125.84 if the government doesn’t apply a cap. Sutton’s hardworking families can’t go on like this. That’s why a Labour government will cap fares on every route and drive through the biggest reform of the railways since privatisation, delivering a better deal for passengers and taxpayers. Emily Labour Parliamentary Candidate Sutton and Cheam[/p][/quote]But Sutton is in zone 5, so why would six zones be purchased? ResidentTony
  • Score: 4

3:40pm Thu 21 Aug 14

bandit63 says...

ResidentTony - importance of news is subjective. If you are a commuter and just been told you are going to have fork out more dosh, then that is probably your no.1 item. If you aren't , then it isn't. I don't like ITN so I watch the BBC... but not because of the order of the stories,, mainly to do with the news readers- never been the same since Trevor McDoughnut retired
ResidentTony - importance of news is subjective. If you are a commuter and just been told you are going to have fork out more dosh, then that is probably your no.1 item. If you aren't , then it isn't. I don't like ITN so I watch the BBC... but not because of the order of the stories,, mainly to do with the news readers- never been the same since Trevor McDoughnut retired bandit63
  • Score: 0

8:57am Tue 26 Aug 14

sfocata says...

Any sympathetic comments from a local Labour candidate seem rather empty. An enthusiastically neoliberal party which did nothing to address the effects of privatisation in 13 years of government, and shows no signs of doing so now?
Any sympathetic comments from a local Labour candidate seem rather empty. An enthusiastically neoliberal party which did nothing to address the effects of privatisation in 13 years of government, and shows no signs of doing so now? sfocata
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Niki R says...

sfocata wrote:
Any sympathetic comments from a local Labour candidate seem rather empty. An enthusiastically neoliberal party which did nothing to address the effects of privatisation in 13 years of government, and shows no signs of doing so now?
Read up on Labour proposals that would see lines return to public ownership just as the last Government oversaw with the East Coast line.
[quote][p][bold]sfocata[/bold] wrote: Any sympathetic comments from a local Labour candidate seem rather empty. An enthusiastically neoliberal party which did nothing to address the effects of privatisation in 13 years of government, and shows no signs of doing so now?[/p][/quote]Read up on Labour proposals that would see lines return to public ownership just as the last Government oversaw with the East Coast line. Niki R
  • Score: 0

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