Bury St Edmunds commuters hit by 3.1 per cent rail fare increase
Commuters are paying hundreds of pounds more for some season tickets after a 3.1 per cent rise in rail fares.
This UK-wide hike kicked in on Wednesday and will see will see Bury St Edmunds passengers paying £256 more for an annual London Travelcard.
Operator Greater Anglia has defended the rise, which will also see a season ticket for Cambridge increase by £64, by pledging investment.
Barry Moore, secretary of Ipswich and East Suffolk Campaign for Better Transport, said he would now like to see more frequent services.
“It used to be a feeble service until it was upgraded in around 2004 and passenger usage has increased accordingly,” he said.
“It would be nice to see the service to Peterborough increased to hourly (from the current once every two hours) and the hourly Cambridge link increased as well.”
Greater Anglia ranked 18 out of 28 UK rail firms in last year’s Which? survey for customer satisfaction.
The company recently announced it would end first class seating from January 2 next year and that all trains would be replaced by longer models from the middle of this year.
We need to apply this increase - Greater Anglia
Mr Moore continued: “I think this is a magnificent investment and will make a great improvement as they will all be expanded to three or even four carriage trains.”
A statement provided by Greater Anglia said: “Our average fare increase is 3.1 per cent, however, we’re freezing some fares.
“The 3.1 per cent increase applies to the majority of our government regulated fares, including most season tickets, anytime singles and returns. We need to apply this increase, as many of our costs will also increase in line with inflation.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the Government had made a ‘record investment’ in rail, while a new discount railcard for people aged 26 to 30 was also being introduced.
A large number of fares are regulated by the government and capped at a 3.2 per cent increase, in line with July’s retail price inflation figure.
This means the average UK rise of 3.1 per cent is below the increase of earnings.