Rail fares increase in region

RAIL fares across East Anglia are set to go up by more than the rate of inflation in January.A saver ticket from Ipswich to London is going up from £27.

RAIL fares across East Anglia are set to go up by more than the rate of inflation in January.

A saver ticket from Ipswich to London is going up from £27.50 to £29 - a rise of almost six pc - although standard singles and returns will remain unchanged at £29 and £51 respectively.

Across the region season tickets, saver and standard rail fares are going up by an average of 4.3 per cent - while tickets bought in advance will increase by an average of five pc.

The cheapest one-way ticket from Ipswich to London, bought in advance, is going up from £5 to £6.

The increases will come into effect from 2 January and have been fixed by rail companies at one per cent above the current inflation rate.

It is likely to provoke an outcry among commuters and other regular passengers who have suffered many delays over recent months because of problems with the track and overhead wires.

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Ipswich-based commuter Ben Hollis was one of those caught up in the chaos at the end of August and early September - and was irritated to hear about the fare increase.

He said: “To be honest it won't affect me immediately because I bought an annual season ticket in August so I won't have to pay more until then.

“And we are still considering moving back to London because the service is so bad - I was only on time once last week.

“It doesn't surprise me that they are putting fares up again but it is disappointing. It is especially annoying after hearing how rail bosses have got bonuses for meeting targets.”

Association of Train Operating Companies director-general George Muir said: "While no-one likes to pay more for their travel, we need the revenue to pay for the ongoing improvements to the railways that passengers expect - and overall satisfaction levels are now at an all-time high of 80pc.

"Rail travel is proving very popular, with more passengers travelling this year. The challenge now is to get extra capacity on to the railway and route plans are under way to this end."

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