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Anger as train prices rocket

PUBLISHED: 00:44 28 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

PASSENGERS and rail pressure groups today expressed their anger at dismay at the fare rises due to come into force on Sunday.

Some fares are set to more than double as differentials between Anglia and Great Eastern fares are abolished.

PASSENGERS and rail pressure groups today expressed their anger at dismay at the fare rises due to come into force on Sunday.

Some fares are set to more than double as differentials between Anglia and Great Eastern fares are abolished.

The change means the cheap family travelcard from Ipswich - allowing a family of four to travel to the capital for £40 - is being abolished.

But other stations are also affected - the £11 Anglia Railways day return ticket from Manningtree to London is being discontinued.

That means the cheapest day return ticket from that station will be £15-90 - a 45 percent increase.

This doesn't impress Robert Goodings from Ipswich who drives to Manningtree to buy the £11 ticket to London.

"It just seems as if the cost of going to London is being pushed up dramatically - and there's no real benefit for anyone," he said.

"One is owned by National Express and not only do they have a monopoly on all the trains to London, they also run all the long-distance coaches to the capital as well. How is that good for the customer?"

Jesse Barrett, of Darsham, uses the trains every day to travel to college in Colchester.

He said: "It is expensive enough as it is but with fare rises I don't know how I will manage to pay for them.

"At the moment I pay for a travel pass at the beginning of each term but with Sunday's rises I will have to pay weekly."

The Rail Passengers' Council (RPC) for Eastern England has raised its concerns about the fare changes - and warned the government's SRA about them before One took over the franchise.

"I don't think they'll make a big change now, but pressure from ourselves, passengers, and the media might make them ease up to some extent," said RPC regional director Guy Dangerfield.

"And I would not be surprised if they come up with some very attractive promotional fares to win back passengers after this summer's tunnel closure."

One Anglia spokesman Peter Meades said the company accepted some customers would lose out as a result of the fare changes.

"But this was always going to happen once the Strategic Rail Authority decided it wanted to have a single operator running all the services with a single fare structure," he said.

"The fares which have been withdrawn, like the family travelcard and the cheap day returns, were never economic - and they were never used by large numbers of passengers."

Mr Meades said many passengers, including season ticket holders, would see fares fall as a result of the changes.

The current cost of an all-train cheap day return from Manningtree is £16-90 and that is coming down by £1 and the cost of a saver ticket from Ipswich to London is falling by 80p to £23-60 from Sunday.

"We shall continue to offer a range of attractive fares which we are confident will attract people on to our trains," he said.

Have you been affected by the rail fare increases? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

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