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Rail passengers face £160 rise in ticket prices
RAIL commuters in Hampshire are facing hikes of more than £160 for their annual ticket to London.
The cost of season tickets to London Waterloo will go up by an average of three per cent across the county for 2014 it was revealed today.
Some of the commuters hardest hit in Hampshire are those in Lymington, who see their fees go to £5,708, an increase of £172.
Also having to dig dip in their wallets are commuters in Brockenhurst, who will be paying £5,580, an increase of £168.
Those travelling from Southampton Central to London Waterloo will pay £4,308 which is £120 more than in 2013 - an increase of 2.8 per cent.
The changes, which come into force on January 2, will see prices rise across the UK at an average of 2.8 per cent. It comes after the Government increased tickets by an average of 4.2 per cent at the start of the year.
South West Trains have confirmed that the average increase on all its fares will be three per cent, or an extra 13p on a single journey. The new increases are calculated from the RPI rate of inflation figure for July 2013, which was 3.1 per cent.
Train companies are allowed to raise regulated fares, which include season ticket by no more than 3.1 per cent. However train companies can use a two per cent flex, which means that some commuters could be hit by rises of 5.1 per cent.
Passenger groups have criticised the increases.
Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "Next month, passengers will see season tickets going up three times faster than their wages. Government needs to do more to stop the squeeze on commuters and avoid pricing people off the railways. We need a permanent end to inflation busting fares rises calculated using an out of date formula."
However, South West trains believe the increases are vital to provide commuters with a better service.
Managing director Tim Shoveller said: "Over 218 million passengers rely on our rail network every year, more than double the number in 1996. We are investing fares directly in initiatives that will provide passengers with easier, more punctual and more comfortable journeys.
“Across the rail industry, we are also working hard to get more for every pound we spend, giving government the scope to hold down fares in future years should it choose to do so.”
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