5:27pm Tuesday 13th August 2013
RAIL commuters are facing the possibility of seeing ticket fares rise by an average of four per cent.
Next year’s hike could see some passengers using train operators including London Midland and First Great Western, which both run services in Worcestershire, forking out more than one hundred pounds more for season tickets.
The changes in January would only apply to regulated fares, such as season tickets and ‘anytime singles’ around major cities.
A 12-month season ticket from Worcester to Birmingham, for instance, is likely to go up from £1,240 to £1,289.60.
However, the price could rise further still to £1,351.60 should rail companies take advantage of a further permitted rise, although this change must be balanced by others that fall by the same amount.
The four per cent increase is set by the government with ministers saying it will pay for investment in the rail network.
It is calculated by inflation, which has dipped slightly to 3.1 per cent, but regulated fares are set to one per cent above this figure.
Train companies, however, are allowed to put fares up by five per cent above the average rise - which in this case would be nine per cent - but changes must be balanced by others that drop.
First Great Western spokesman James Davis said the increased government revenue would support schemes such as FGW increasing capacity this year on trains coming in and out of London, but he added it was “too early” to say whether it would raise prices above the four per cent.
London Midland said it couldn’t comment as “we don’t have the figures yet”.
The Association of Train Operating Companies says some passengers will see ticket prices remaining the same or even decreasing.
“Since 2004, it has been government policy to allow regulated fares to rise above inflation in order to support investment in more trains, better stations and faster services,” said Michael Roberts, the ATOC’s chief executive.
“This is helping to drive passenger satisfaction to near record levels while seeking to reduce taxpayers’ contribution towards the cost of running the railways.
“In order to help limit future fare rises, the rail industry is working with the Government to find ways of providing services even more efficiently, building on the progress that has already been made.”
The cost of a season ticket from Worcester:
The current cost of a 12-month season ticket from Worcester Foregate Street to Birmingham New Street; £1,240
The figure with an increased four per cent ; £1,289.60
Should the nine per cent increase be applied; £1,351.60
Where does money from train fares go?
For every pound train companies receive;
* 48p goes to Network Rail (which charges train companies to run trains on the tracks) and other infrastructure costs
* 17p goes on staff costs
* 17p goes on miscellaneous costs including train maintenance, administration and contractors
* 11p goes on leasing trains
* 4p goes on fuel / energy
* 3p goes to train company profit
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