Hertfordshire commuters hit by 2.7 per cent rail fare rise

Commuters will pay as much as £100 more for a season ticket in 2020. Picture: Archant

Commuters will pay as much as £100 more for a season ticket in 2020. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire commuters were hit by the latest rail fare price hike this morning, with Govia Thameslink trains costing 2.7 per cent more in 2020.

The increase means that an average season ticket into London has risen by as much as £100 - though the figure remains lower than the 3.1 per cent rise implemented at the start of 2019.

The Rail Delivery Group - the industry body which regulates rail fares - says this is the third year in a row which has seen average fares held below the benchmark rate of inflation.

Bim Afolami told this paper last month: "My strong view is that our fare prices should not increase in real terms. They have not. They have been held at inflation. This is the third year in a row that average fares nationally have been held below the inflation measure, on which rises are based."

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: "We understand that no one wants to pay more to travel, which is why train companies have held the average fare increases below inflation, while still investing to improve journeys. "Passengers will benefit from 1,000 extra, improved train carriages and over 1,000 extra weekly services in 2020."

Aljit Vohra, member of Stevenage Rail Users group, said: "The legacy of serious service failings has caused both health and financial difficulties for many commuters. The fares that have continuously increased year on year are not justified by the standard of services provided.

"There is also great concern that we are still not seeing any improvement in the number of peak services for a town as large as Stevenage. We are unclear why larger towns north of Stevenage are prioritised and passengers from Stevenage have standing only options, and a fare increase each year to further add to the insult!"

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Transport secretary and Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps last night confirmed plans to trial a system of "flexible" season tickets on Govia Thameslink services, which offer discounts to part-time workers travelling only certain days a week.

If successful, the system could be rolled out across the country.

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