Rail commuters face cold start to 2014 as fares rise

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Commuters travelling from Milton Keynes and Bletchley into the capital face another increase in rail fares in the New Year, with season ticket prices set to go up by more than £100.

Those travelling between Milton Keynes Central and London Euston will have to cough up an extra £152 a year, while those travelling from Bletchley station face a £128 rise.

The Government had announced it would freeze fares at inflation for January 2014, but the rail companies themselves were left with the option to increase some fares by up to 5.1 per cent – 3.1 per cent inflation, plus 2 per cent on top.

The price of a London Midland season ticket from Milton Keynes to Euston will now be £4,772 and Bletchley to Euston will be £4,128.

Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for MK South, said: “This is yet another eye-watering hike in prices at a time when many people are struggling to make ends meet.

“The cost of a season ticket has gone up by nearly £1,000 since 2010, despite promises from Ministers to sort this out.

“A commuter earning £25,000 will be paying 19 per cent of their salary just for the privilege of getting to work, and that doesn’t include any travel costs once they get into London.

“I am worried that some people will simply be priced out of getting to work. We need a new deal for rail passengers that provides value for money and helps deal with the cost of living.”