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East Anglia: Fresh criticism of 4% rail fares increase

PUBLISHED: 08:58 31 December 2012

Rail fares to increase

Rail fares to increase

RAIL fare rises being introduced in the region and across the UK this week come at a time of “no perceptible improvement in services”, a campaign group has said.

Fares are set to increase from Wednesday by just over 4% along the Greater Anglia network, with an annual ticket from Ipswich to London going up from £5,608 to £5,840, while for commuters in Stowmarket, an annual ticket will rise from £5,712 to £5,948. Fares in Essex will also increase by 4.1% in 2013.

An annual ticket from Colchester to London will cost £4,556 compared with £4,376 this year, while prices from Manningtree will increase from £4,860 to £5,060.

The rises could have been steeper but for an intervention by the Government to limit the regulated fare rise to inflation plus 1%, rather than the planned inflation plus 3% increase. The average season ticket increase across the UK of 4.2% is the 10th above-inflation increase in a row, said the Railfuture group.

The Association of Train Operating Companies has said that the overall average rise, including non-season tickets, will be 3.9%, with some fares not going up as much as this.

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson said: “Yet again, rail fares go up with no perceptible improvement in service. Over the last 10 years, fares have increased by more than 50% – much more than people’s incomes.”

But Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “Family budgets are being squeezed, so that is why this coalition Government has taken proactive steps to cut the planned fare rises from 3% to 1% above inflation until 2014.”

A top primary school in Martlesham Heath has been given Ofsted’s top rating of ‘outstanding’ in its latest inspection – the first time it achieved the benchmark rating in 50 years.

Women from Suffolk have described how their lives were rocked by “unfair” changes to pension laws.

Murray Park in Ipswich is set to get a trim trail as the latest measure to improve facilities.

A new road, which ran almost £5m over budget, faces fresh controversy after it emerged a council employee involved in the project also completed work for the road’s developers through his private company.

Two high-end cycles – worth £10,000 in total – were stolen after burglars broke into a garage in Elmsett, near Hadleigh.

Refugee and asylum seeking women living in Suffolk say getting to grips with the English language is one of the biggest challenges they face.

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

A century ago, in December 1917, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, one of the most famous residents of Aldeburgh, died, writes Dr Lucy Harvard.

A senior whistleblower within the region’s ambulance trust has claimed up to 80 people could have died or come to harm because of delays over the Christmas and New Year period.

A three-vehicle crash in Kesgrave this afternoon caused a road to be blocked for more than two hours.

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