April 19 2014 Latest news:
Monday, December 23, 2013
Rail users in the region are set to see another increase in fares next year, with some facing season ticket costs of over £6000.
Ipswich-Liverpool St - £38.90 - rise of 4.9%
M’tree-Liverpool St - £35.20 - rise of 4.1%
Colch-Liverpool St - £34.10 - rise of 4.0%
The price rise means commuters into London from Ipswich and Stowmarket buying an annual season ticket after January 2 will pay £6000 or more.
Commuters from Manningtree, Colchester and Woodbridge have also seen price rises.
Off-peak return tickets have also seen increases.
The increases are linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation figure, as opposed to the usually-lower Consumer Price Index (CPI) figure that is used for Government benefits.
Ipswich-Liverpool St £6,000 - rise of 2.7%
M’tree-Liverpool St £5,232 - rise of 3.4%
Colch-Liverpool St £4,680 - rise of 2.7%
Stow-Liverpool St £6,192 - rise of 4.1%
W’bridge-Liverpool St £6,376 - rise of 4.1%
David Bigg, chairman of Witham and Braintree Rail Users Association, said: “It’s never good news.
“Wage inflation is way below the measure of inflation, and the service is not improving.”
Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport spoke out against the RPI link and said: “The Government has already switched to CPI for most things.
“Doing the same for train fares would have little impact on revenues, but it would save passengers money.”
A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: “Annual fare rises help to maintain investment in the railways and are determined largely by government policy.”
Mr Bigg thought that the price increase was part of a larger issue.
He said: “Rail users must pay for it. If you don’t, you don’t go to work.
“Commuters will have less. How can the economy grow?”
Rod Lane, vice-chair of the Witham and Braintree Rail Users Association was worried about the capacity of the trains and said: “I see the situation getting worse and worse. The only way to improve capacity is double decker trains.”
Mr Lane believes that it will only take two or three years until the trains are overcrowded.
A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “As well as protecting regulated fares, the Government is driving forward the biggest programme of rail modernisation programmes ever, with £38 billion being invested over the next five years.
“That means new state-of-the-art trains, better stations and hundreds of miles of electrified track which will help cut journey times, provide better connections and stimulate growth across the country.”