Rail season tickets set for 2.5% increase from January next year

Rail fares go up in January.

Rail fares go up in January. - Credit: Archant

The cost of an annual rail season ticket from the region to London is going up in line with last Summer’s inflation rate from January 2.

But the rise was condemned by a representative of rail users – and also came under fire from Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

Season ticket fares are going up by a flat rate of fractionally under 2.5% – there is not the flexibility for rail companies to tailor individual fares around this figure that there has been in the past.

Overall the cost of rail fares across the Abellio Greater Anglia franchise is going up by 2.1%, fractionally under the national average of 2.2%.

An off-peak saver return from Ipswich to London goes up by 90p from £38.90 to £39.80 – but you can make a considerable saving on this, especially at weekends, by “splitting” the ticket at Manningtree.

And the Manningtree to Ipswich super off peak ticket goes up by 60p from £26.90 to £27.50.

The cost of season tickets between Ipswich and Norwich and Ipswich and Cambridge will go up by £84 from £3,288 to £3,372 a year while the cost of season tickets from Bury St Edmunds to Ipswich or Cambridge goes up from £1,936 to £1,984.

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Derek Monnery from the Essex Federation of Rail Users’ felt that while the rises were lower than in recent years, they showed that the government was not promoting a level playing field for rail users.

He said: “The government says it is going to spend millions on upgrading the roads from London through Essex, but it freezes road tax and fuel duty.

“There are improvements coming to the rail – but they are putting up fares to help pay for this. It’s as if the government is trying to drive rail users on to the roads!”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer was relieved that the increase had been frozen by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a move that was announced at October’s Tory Party conference.

But he felt travellers from his constituency were still not getting good value for money.

He said: “Commuters from Ipswich will be paying more than £6,000 a year to travel on old trains and on a track that has frequent problems. Is that good value?

“We do now have a commitment for improvements on the line, but is it really right that prices should go up before these improvements come through?”