Suffolk/Essex: Could rail ticket costs rocket as inflation rises?
RAIL commuters face an anxious few months as they wait to hear how much season ticket prices will go up a the start of 2013.
According to the current formula set down by the government, the cost could go up by an average of 6.2% in January.
As it stands rail companies can put their regulated fares up by an average of the retail price index in August plus 3% to help pay for increased investment in the network.
The RPI figure came in a surprisingly high 3.2% – allowing the high average rise.
However last year the government decided in October that rail fares could only increase by an average of 1% above inflation and Jonathan Denby of Greater Anglia said fare planners at the company would be ready for any such change this year.
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The cost of season tickets and walk-on tickets for rail services is expected to be unveiled at the end of November across the industry.
If the rise is confirmed by the government and fares in Greater Anglia go up in line with the 6.2% figure, season tickets from Ipswich to Liverpool Street would go up by �348 from �5,608 to �5,956, and from Colchester they would go up by �271 from �4,376 to �4,647.
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Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said he would be lobbying the government to cut the increase: “We often get statistical anomolies like this in August – and for commuters this is a very great hardship.
“They have to pay for season tickets from their taxed income and they have no alternative – so I hope the government will listen to the concerns.”
Derek Monnery of the Essex Rail Users’ Federation said: “Without serious investment in the Essex rail network a 3% surcharge on our fares is quite unjustifiable. We are already starting to receive angry feedback from Essex rail users.”