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Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Fare Increases - UK Commuters pay almost 10 times more for trains than other Europeans

Those back in work will have seen the reminders to try to buy your Travelcards now, not only to avoid the queues in January, but also to avoid the inevitable
annual fare increases. At least the staff at Ian Wood's station (pictured below) took a slightly less corporate approach with the fare increase announcement, warning that some "may come as quite a shock", rather than the blander company line signage at my station last year:

Welcome back to work by IanAWood

Travelcard increase poster by Annie Mole

As you ready yourself for the increases get set to know that we are already paying almost 10 times more for our season tickets than fellow Europeans. New statistics from the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) show that that rail travellers on the continent are paying far less for their trains.

"The price of a 2011 season ticket from Woking in Surrey to London, including Tube travel in the capital, is £3,268. Yet a similar 22-mile journey from Velletri to Rome costs Italian season ticket holders £336.17" report The Press Association. The 24-mile journey from Ballancourt-sur-Essonne to Paris costs £924.66. While the 21-mile Strausberg to Berlin route is £705.85 and if you're commuting in Spain, the 22-mile Collado-Villalba to Madrid journey costs £653.74.

From January 2nd 2012, UK regulated fares, which include season tickets, are rising by an average of 6%. The overall average rise for all tickets is 5.9%. Fares on TfL's services for 2012 will rise by 5.6% on average.

The Campaign for Better Transport public transport campaigner Sophie Allain said: "When the cost of season tickets is so much higher than other European capitals, the Government's fare rises are starting to affect the UK's competitiveness. That's why if the Government is serious about promoting economic growth it must also look at reducing planned fare rises in 2013 and 2014 as part of a policy to cut fares and make public transport truly affordable."

Fares on TfL's services for 2012 will rise by 5.6 per cent on average and Londonist has the top line increases:
  • Monthly travelcard zone 1/1-2: £112.20 (5.6% increase)
  • Monthly travelcard zones 1-3: £131.40 (6.2% increase)
  • Monthly travelcard zones 1-4: £160.60 (6.1% increase)
  • Monthly travelcard zones 1-5: £191.30 (6% increase)
  • Monthly travelcard zones 1-6: £205.10 (5.9% increase)
  • Monthly bus pass: £72.20 (5.6% increase)
As they say "make sure you buy your travelcard in the next couple of days. It could save you up to £11.50 on a monthly ticket or £120 on an annual (zones 1-6)."

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