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Romford commuters face record-breaking 8 per cent rise in rail fares

PUBLISHED: 15:13 16 August 2011 | UPDATED: 17:28 16 August 2011

National Express train

National Express train

Archant

Havering commuters face an 8 per-cent hike in rail tickets, following the release of latest inflation figures today.

The record-breaking fare rise could see Romford commuters forking out an extra £124 for an annual ticket to London Liverpool Street.

A yearly ticket would normally set you back £1,548. But under new inflation rates, set to take affect in January, this could rise to a whopping £1,671.

A monthly ticket from Romford to London Liverpool Street would also rise from £148.70 to £160.60.

It is the biggest fare rise since the industry was privatised in the mid-1990s.

Under a new system, ticket prices are linked to the July inflation rate, with rail companies now allowed to charge 3 per-cent on top. Previously they had only been allowed to charge one per-cent on top.

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) remains unchanged at 5 per-cent. But with the extra three per-cent hike this could see rail companies hiking tickets by 8 per-cent.

Passenger campaign groups have criticised the measure as a step too far.

Alexandra Woodsworth, of Campaign For Better Transport, said: “Affordable rail travel is vital for passengers, for the environment and for our workforce.

“These massive fare rises will be a disaster for people already struggling with rising costs, and risk pricing those on lower incomes out of jobs in our major cities.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “The scale of the deficit means that the Government has had to take some very difficult decisions on future rail fares but the long term solution is to get the cost of running the railways down.

“That way we can get a better deal for passengers and tax payers. We are determined to do this and if we succeed, we hope to see the end of above inflation rises in regulated fares.”

The Government’s new fares formula was unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne as part of his comprehensive spending review last autumn.

The rise comes one week after the Recorder reported that the National Express East Anglia train between Gidea Park and London Liverpool Street was one of the most overcrowded in the country.

The price hike will not affect London Underground.


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