Southeastern passengers to face off-peak fare hike from the end of this week

 
Rebecca Smith
Going up: Southeastern has confirmed the rise for unregulated fares
Going up: Southeastern has confirmed the rise for unregulated fares

Brace yourselves, frequenters of Southeastern.

For rail passengers on its off-peak services will face higher fares from Sunday 21 May. The rail operator is bringing in rises of 3.4 per cent or 10p, whichever is the greatest.

Read more: First Class could be ditched in the government's new plans for Southeastern

A Southeastern spokesman said:

We understand no one likes to see fares increase but sometimes it is necessary to adjust our prices. On this occasion it means that from Sunday 21 May some of our unregulated fares will rise by 3.4 per cent or 10p whichever is greater.

We keep fare increases to a minimum and have frozen some fares for the past three years, including advanced fares which still remain at January 2016 prices and can now be purchased at ticket offices, making our cheapest fares more widely available.

Around 640,000 journeys are made on 1,900 Southeastern trains every weekday and passenger numbers have risen 40 per cent in the past decade.

Southeastern's franchise ends in December 2018, and the government has asked passengers across south east London, Kent and East Sussex to give their views on the next franchise blueprint.

Read more: Auto delay repay? No way, says the company bidding to run Southeastern

The Department for Transport (DfT) has been floating a range of plans to improve the capital's commuter trains, including the possibility of First Class being ditched to free up more space, particularly during peak hours, and high-speed services extended.

The DfT's consultation, which will assess support for the assortment of proposals, has run for nearly 10 weeks, and closes on 23 May.

The new franchise comes after Sadiq Khan's efforts to take the reins of inner London services failed. Grayling rejected the plans for Transport for London to take over suburban rail services in December.

Read more: Southeastern had an unusual excuse for delays today: Llamas on the line

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