Anger at 11.5 per cent price increase for one-day rail Travelcards

PUBLISHED: 11:46 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010

Sandy Walkington questions the logic behind the fare increases

Sandy Walkington questions the logic behind the fare increases

ONE-day travelcards on the Thameslink line have gone up by 11.5 per cent from this month. The increase in the cost of travelcards which are used off-peak is two-and-a-half per cent higher than the nine per cent average increase in unregulated fares claim

ONE-day travelcards on the Thameslink line have gone up by 11.5 per cent from this month.

The increase in the cost of travelcards which are used off-peak is two-and-a-half per cent higher than the nine per cent average increase in unregulated fares claimed by FCC when it announced its annual fare increases late last year.

The cost of a travelcard has now risen from £13 to £14.50 for an all-zones ticket - and that follows an unprecedented 50p increase in the cost in the middle of last year which took it from £12.50 to £13.

The above-average increase in unregulated fares - used by leisure travellers and not eligible for any kind of Government ceiling - mirrors the findings of local politician Sandy Walkington who demonstrated last week that regulated fares for FCC travellers on the Thameslink line were actually rising by eight per cent and not the expected six per cent.

Mr Walkington, LibDem prospective Parliamentary candidate for St Albans, also revealed this week that his research had revealed that St Albans seems to have more expensive commuter fares than any town of its equivalent distance from the local big city.

Commuters now pay £16 for a peak return fare from St Albans to St Pancras but travellers from Kings Langley Station to Euston, a similar distance on the London Midland line, pay £13.70 and Welwyn Garden City travellers into Kings Cross - also the same distance - pay £13.50 for a service provided by FCC.

Describing the St Albans travelling public as a cash cow, Mr Walkington said: "It is very hard to see the logic behind these fares.

"They say they raised St Albans fares by eight per cent, nearly one third more than the six per cent agreed for the overall regulated fares basket on the FCC route network because St Albans has had lower increases in the past."

He added: "Tell that to local commuters whose services are going to be disrupted in a major way by Thameslink construction Tell that to them when FCC is also announcing reductions in ticket-office opening times.

"St Albans travellers are already being hit harder than anyone else just as the quality of service is going down."

A spokesperson for FCC said that the company believed that the off-peak travelcard still offered value for money as did other tickets for leisure travellers.

He pointed out that St Albans had some of the lowest increases on the Anytime Day Return tickets at 3.2 per cent and Anytime Singles rising by 4.5 per cent and the GroupSave, where three or four people travelling for the price of two adults, also represented good value.

The spokesperson said that the 50p increase last May had been to account for an increase in payment to Transport for London for the travelcard element of the ticket.


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