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News & Advice

How much your rail fares go up from Saturday

Some passengers will have to fork out for increased rail fares of up to 15 per cent when new ticket prices are introduced on Saturday.

And in London, Tube fares will go up by an average of 3.9 per cent, with average bus fares soaring 12.7 per cent.

Many main line passengers will actually find their fares going down by 0.4 per cent, as the annual rise for regulated fares - which include season tickets - is linked to the rate of RPI inflation.

But unregulated fares, which include many off-peak services, are rising sharply, with a supersaver fare from London to Swindon in Wiltshire rising 15 per cent to £23.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) came in for widespread criticism this autumn for not itemising, as it normally does, each train company's average unregulated fares rise.

Instead Atoc said average fares - heavily influenced by the 0.4 per cent regulated fare decline - were going up by only 1.1 per cent.

Some train companies have given details of their unregulated fare rises. Virgin Trains, for example, is increasing unregulated fares by an average of 2.8 per cent, while ScotRail's rise is 3 per cent, and turn-up-and-go fares on services rub by the Southern train company will go up by 4 per cent.

A number of companies, including National Express East Anglia, First Capital Connect, TransPennine Express and Merseyrail have frozen their unregulated fares.

But the Southeastern train company passengers will face some of the biggest increases from Saturday. The company said some unregulated fares were rising 7.3 per cent and others by 2.8 per cent.

The company has just introduced 140mph high-speed Javelin trains on its Kent services into London. These services and other infrastructure improvements were taken into account in Southeastern's franchise contract which allows the company to raise regulated fares annually by more than the national average.

This means that Southeastern passengers will find their season tickets going up by 1.6 per cent from Saturday whether they use the Javelin trains or not.

The Campaign for Better Transport's public transport campaigner Cat Hobbs said today: "Regulated fares will fall by 4p for every £10 paid. This is too little, too late for passengers who are already paying hundreds of pounds more because of the Government's policy of increasing fares.

"UK train fares are already 20 per cent higher than the European average so the Government needs to make serious cuts to make taking the train affordable."

London Mayor Boris Johnson defended the Tube and bus increases in the capital.

He said: "I know the fares' rises will be hard but believe me, without them these huge improvements in our quality of life - and the retention of the standing of our city - would not be possible."

From Saturday, the Oyster pay-as-you-go tickets, used extensively on the Underground and on London buses, will be accepted on all main line rail services in Greater London.

But passenger group London TravelWatch warned that annual travelcards and season tickets would still offer better value for money, with Oyster pay-as-you-go the better option only for people who do not travel every day.

The group also warned that people should be aware that their Oyster card will "run out" if they want to journey on main line rail services to points beyond the zones covered by their card.

How your rail fares will go up

These are some train companies' average rises for unregulated fares - mainly off-peak fares - which will take effect from Saturday:

* CHILTERN - London fares have been frozen;

* EAST MIDLANDS TRAINS - First-class off-peak fares frozen or reduced by up to 20 per cent. Some first-class anytime fares also frozen;


* FIRST GREATER WESTERN - Unregulated fares rising by an average of 2.47 per cent;

* LONDON MIDLAND - unregulated fares going up by an average of 3 per cent;

* MERSEYRAIL - No rise;

* NATIONAL EXPRESS AND C2C - Unregulated fares frozen;

* NORTHERN - Unregulated fares rising by 0.35 per cent;

* SCOTRAIL - Unregulated fares going up by 3 per cent. Exceptions include anytime singles and anytime returns on Highland routes, which are reduced by 0.4 per cent;

* SOUTHERN - Turn-up-and-go unregulated fares going up 4 per cent;

* SOUTHEASTERN - Some unregulated off-peak tickets increasing by 7.3 per cent and others by 2.8 per cent. (Regulated fares are rising 1.6 per cent);

* SOUTH WEST TRAINS - Most first-class fares frozen or reduced, and many off-peak fares frozen;


* VIRGIN TRAINS - Unregulated fares will rise by an average of 2.8 per cent.