Fare hike hits commuters

COMMUTERS returning to work following the Christmas break have been hit with a fare hike of up to 13 per cent on annual rail season tickets.

Rail passengers in London and the South East are facing increases as high as 12.8 per cent on some high-speed lines.

Yearly tickets will increase across the country by 6.2 per cent on average, yet train operator Southeastern has been allowed to increase fares by 7.8 per cent on average to reflect extra investment in the franchise.

High-speed services between Tonbridge and London will now cost £5,192, up 12.7 per cent, while services between Ashford and the capital will now costs £4,328, up 12.8 per cent.

Train operators on regular commuter services have been allowed to increase regulated fares by 5.8 per cent and unregulated fares by up to 5.2 per cent.

A yearly ticket from Brighton to London will rise to £3,832, up 7.76 per cent with operator Southern, while a First Capital Connect yearly pass between Huntingdon and London will cost £4,260, up 6.4 per cent.

Bus and Tube fares across the capital have also risen by an average of 6.8 per cent, with a raft of changes.

Amongst the adjustments is an increase in the daily cap on Oyster journeys by Tube, with fares up £1 to £6.60 during off-peak hours and up 80p at peak times to £8.

Single bus journeys now cost £2.20 for cash tickets, up by 20p, and £1.30 on Oyster, up by 10p.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Revenue from fares enables the Government to continue to deliver much needed improvements on the rail network.”