Commuters face price hike: ‘Nobody likes to see rail fares go up’

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Passengers are paying the price for the “biggest rail modernisation since the Victorian era” as rail fares rose by 2.5 per cent this morning.

It is the lowest rise in the cost of train tickets for five years, but city commuters must now pay £4,888 for a season ticket - a £1,000 increase since 2010.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said fares have a “crucial role to play” in funding the improvements, which he believes will help boost economic growth by creating jobs and encouraging regeneration of the wider area.

But Andrew Pakes, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes South, said that although the economy is beginning to pick up, most people’s wages have not.

He said: “The rail franchising system is expensive with costs increasingly being passed on to passengers.

“We need a wholesale review of franchising to help bring down costs on the railways and to ensure operators are providing value for money.”

The average fare of a rail ticket in Britain will increase by 2.2%, while regulated fares - including season tickets - will increase by up to 2.5%.

MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, who has helped secure more carriages and services from both London Midland Virgin for MK commuters, said: “Nobody likes to see rail fares go up. As a government we have invested heavily in the railways with £38 billion being spent on modernisation over the next five years.

“The government has also managed for the second year running to freeze regulated fare rises at the rate of inflation (RPI).

“I want the experience for commuters to be better from the beginning of their journey, through to the end and I strongly believe this government is delivering on that.”