Commuters face a winter of discontent as South West Trains ticket prices will rise by 2.3% on average in the new year, revealed reports today.
Following the George Osborne’s autumn statement on Wednesday, passengers will pay roughly 9.5 pence more per single journey – the lowest price rise in five years.
However ticket prices on the South West Trains network will rise by 2.5%, but the company say that the extra revenue will go back into improving the service.
Tim Shoveller, South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance chief executive, said: “Money from fares goes towards running and maintaining the railway.
“This will benefit every household in the country by improving journeys, creating employment and helping to boost the economy.”
The nationwide increase in ticket prices across each British rail network will be 2.2% on average, but will not exceed the current rate of inflation.
“For every pound spent on fares, 97p goes on track, train, staff and other costs,” said Mr Shoveller.
“The other 3p goes in profits earned by train companies for running services on Europe’s fastest growing railway.”
The announcement is just one in a succession of initiatives from the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, including £7m regeneration of the lines through Wimbledon.
A government-created passenger watchdog – Passenger Focus – is concerned that commuter satisfaction over pricing needs to be reviewed more closely.
David Sidebottom, director of Passenger Focus, said: “Just over four in ten passengers are currently happy with the value of their ticket.
“This is a good time for the industry to look at the view for money of fares.”
Mr Sidebottom added that a flexible fare structure for passengers needs to be looked into as well as a more consistent day-to-day service.
Rail passengers can check ticket prices for 2015 from today at stations, online at southwesttrains.co.uk or through National Rail Enquiries.
Picture courtesy of Matthew Black, with thanks