Havering commuters urged to beat season ticket fare rise, but Shenfield sees price drop

Havering commuters are urged to buy their new rail season ticket now to beat January’s fare rise.

But travellers from nearby Shenfield will actually pay less next year.

Consumer group Passenger Focus says passengers may want to buy their tickets early before the rises hit.

The cost of an annual ticket to Liverpool Street or Fenchurch Street from most local stations will rise by the national average of about four per cent.

Shenfield is the only local station bucking the trend with an annual season ticket to Liverpool Street falling from �2,720 to �2,704. This is due to Greater Anglia introducing Oystercard ticketing at the station.

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Richard Enever, of Brentwood Bus and Rail Users’ Association, said: “It’s good about Shenfield but the rest is sheer daylight robbery. We’re paying more and more every year for a second rate service.”

Anthony Smith, of Passenger Focus, said: “Passengers will feel this pain. After years of above inflation fare rises, fresh increases are piling pressure on already high fares.

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“Government and the rail industry must now work together to deliver on the welcome promise to get fare rises in line with inflation.”

A Department of Transport spokesman said: “The fares that national rail passengers pay will continue to support our major programme of rail improvements – the largest in scale since the Victorian era. It will deliver crucial benefits for passengers, including relief from crowding on some of the nation’s busiest routes.

“The government still believes it is vital that efficiencies are found in the cost of running the railways so that we can deliver better value for money for both taxpayers and farepayers.”

The department recently cancelled plans to allow operators to increase fares by three per cent on top of inflation instead of one per cent.

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