Criticism at nearly £100 increase to annual train season ticket to London

Rail news.
Rail news.

Commuters will pay almost £100 more for an annual train ticket from Crawley to London Victoria this year.

Southern Rail increased its fares by an average of 2.87 per cent from January 2.

An annual season ticket from Crawley to London Victoria has risen fom £3,296 to £3,392.

This represents an increase of 2.9 per cent.

However, Gatwick Express fares will be frozen at 2013 prices.

Regulated fares for 2014 have been capped by the Government at the July 2013 RPI (retail price index) rate of 3.1 per cent.

The RPI is a measure of inflation published monthly by the Office for National Statistics

Southern has introduced a lower than RPI increase for season ticket holders.

Southern has also promised to freeze its cheapest £5 advance fares for the seventh consecutive year.

Many non-London off-peak day return fares will remain the same.

Commuters gave their opinions of the price rises on the Crawley Observer Facebook page.

Lisa Anne Young wrote: “They will put people out of work cause people wont be able to afford to go to work!”

Malcolm G Braganza added: “Been travelling to London for over 20 years and never get a seat in the morning.

“Train delays, overcrowding, excuses, congestion. Only one constant; increased fares! Very poor!”

Southern Rail has opted not to use a ‘flex’ allowance which could have seen some season tickets increase by as much as 5.1 per cent.

Alex Foulds, Southern Rail’s commercial director, said: “There is good news for all of our season ticket holders as we have chosen not to use flex, meaning that all our season ticket holders will pay a lower increase.

“It’s also great news for our Gatwick Express passengers as we are freezing fares on the route, and for those looking for cheap off-peak travel, we continue to freeze our cheapest Advance fare at just £5.”

As well as a fare increase, commuters had to contend with rail way works on a major link between Gatwick Airport and London over the festive period.

Turn to page 25 for full details on the railway improvements.