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Rail fare rises 'could drive passengers away'

From:  http://itn.co.uk/dcc97055b7683670a28d8a9f6c474ba3.html

Rail fare rises 'could drive passengers away'

Tue Nov 23 2010 16:43:05

 Train companies have been condemned after announcing that rail fares would rise by an inflation-busting 6.2 per cent in the new year, with some travellers facing rises of nearly 13 per cent.

Commuters in Kent and Sussex bore the brunt of the sharp increases from train companies, with some season tickets going up 12.8 per cent in January 2011.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) attempted to put a gloss on the figures by confining itself to an announcement that average fares would rise 6.2 per cent.

Transport union TSSA said the increases were "simply outrageous" while the RMT union said passengers would be paying "inflation-busting increases to travel on overcrowded services".

And rail passenger group London TravelWatch warned that the "dramatic rise" could drive passengers off trains.

For the second year running Atoc gave no breakdown of figures from individual train companies.

The companies which did give more detailed information included Southeastern where a season ticket from Ramsgate in Kent to London increases 12.8 per cent from £3,880 to £4,376.

Atoc's lack of information was criticised by the RMT and by rail customer watchdog Passenger Focus which said passengers "deserved to know how much they will have to bear in January".


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