Milton Keynes commuters face £167 increase in rail fares

Passengers had to fend for themselves in Bank Holiday Monday
Passengers had to fend for themselves in Bank Holiday Monday

Commuters inMilton Keynes will pay another £167 a year from January 2015, following a 3.5% increase in fares announced this morning.

The cost of a season ticket from Milton Keynes Central to London is expected to rise to £4,939 in January, up from the current £4,772. The regulated cost is set by government, based on the RPI (Retail Price Index) plus one per cent.Commuters at Milton Keynes Central spoke to the Citizen following the announcement this morning.

One “I’ve been commuting for two and a half years, and there have been several fare increases during that time”, said Khushboo, who commutes daily between Milton Keynes and Birmingham.

“The frequency of service hasn’t increased and nor have the number coaches on the train. I often have to stand up. The services haven’t improved to justify the price.”

Similarly, Amir, of Shenley Lodge, said he was “incredibly disappointed” at the prospect of further fare increases. “I already pay £85 a week to get to work in Watford. .

The cost of a season ticket from Milton Keynes to London has gone up over £1,000 since 2010, a 29 per cent rise.

“Our rail fares are among the highest in Europe”, said Andrew Pakes, Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes.

It is not good enough for the government to brag about the recovery when on rail fares the benefits of growth are not yet being shared evenly.”

However, some commuters said living in MK and travelling into the capital remained the better option when weighing up the cost of living in MK..

“The quality of life in Milton Keynes is a lot better than in London,” said Stephen Coleclough, who has been commuting to the capital for 17 years.

“What you can get property-wise in Milton Keynes is far better, and then there are all the parks and the lakes and the facilities here. Plus it is a good place to commute from – fast trains to London take just half an hour.”

Andrew Pakes added: “We need a strict cap on fare increases to provide value for money for passengers and help deal with the cost of living.”