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New Year fare rise for rail passengers

Rail commuters in Canterbury are facing another fare hike as Southeastern trains imposes a 2.2% increase in the New Year. It means a hi-speed season ticket from Canterbury West to St Pancras will rise from £5,944 to £6,092 – a monthly increase of £12.33.  Southeastern insists the extra revenue will be spent on improvements including more than 96,000 extra seats on off-peak services and up to 75 extra staff at key stations. The firm has also announced a freeze in the prices of off-peak fares, which it says will cut the cost of more than one million journeys. Southeastern’s managing director David Statham said:

“We know that customers want more value for money and an improvement to their service – and we’re committed to providing just that. More than 250,000 people rely on our trains for their journeys every day and we’re investing fares directly in schemes that will make those journeys easier for our passengers. These include extra seats on some services, providing more staff to help passengers at stations and on trains, refreshing the look of our fleet of trains and Improving stations right across our network.”

Commuter Spencer Whiting
Commuter Spencer Whiting

For the first time, the operator will also offer a discount for people prebooking off-peak fares on the Southeastern website. The news follows Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement that regulated rail fares for 2015 will increase by 2.5%. The overall average increase in regulated (season ticket) and unregulated (off-peak) fares on the Southeastern network will be below inflation and limited to 2.2%. Commuters using regular services out of Canterbury to London will see their £4,960 to £5,080- a monthly rise of £10. Accountant Spencer Whiting, 41, travels daily to London from Canterbury West. He said;

“Although expensive, Southeastern do offer a punctual and efficient service via their HS1 trains However, commuters on other routes will feel that any rise in cost to an oftardy service on overcrowded trains is totally unjustified.”

Githnghamhas called on Southeastern to refund passengers if trains are delayed by just two minutes. He said:

“I would like to see Southeastern take this up so that hard working commuters can be fully compensated for any delay.”

Herne Bay Gazette, December 11th 2014

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