Anger over rail cost inconsistency

PASSENGER groups today criticised the rail fare system on the East Anglian mainline as being complicated and unfair.

PASSENGER groups today criticised the rail fare system on the East Anglian mainline as being complicated and unfair.

The attack on the pricing structure was due to the fact that passengers looking to take a return journey from Ipswich to London off-peak can save £5.50 from the standard saver return ticket costing £31.50.

If passengers book separate return journeys from Ipswich to Colchester and then Colchester to London the fare is reduced to £26.

David Bigg, of the Witham and Braintree Rail Users' Association, said it was an anomaly in the system and led to confusion with passengers.

“We have had this for years and it is crazy. It is absolutely bonkers and we have asked the train operator to make it simpler so that the rail traveller gets the low fare,” he said.

Amy Stockton, spokesperson for independent national rail consumer watchdog Passenger Focus, said: “If passengers do not automatically receive the best available ticket deal from the train operator and national rail enquires they can be left feeling ripped off.”

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A spokesman for rail operator National Express East Anglia said: “There are lots of good value tickets available and many are heavily discounted and these include season tickets and cheap day returns.

“It is our requirement to sell passengers the appropriate point-to-point ticket for their journey.”