St Albans commuters facing 4.1 per cent rail fare increase

New First Capital Connect train

New First Capital Connect train - Credit: Archant

LOCAL commuters should brace themselves for train travel to rise by a further 4.1 per cent on average from next January.

The news comes after inflation figures were released this week that are used to calculate the average increase in regulated fares including season tickets.

According to Government guidelines rail companies can put up ticket prices by one per cent higher than July’s Retail Price Index (RPI), announced on Tuesday as 3.1 per cent.

Currently a 12-month season ticket from St Albans to London travelling with First Capital Connect (FCC) costs £3,112 but this could jump to £3,239 if the 4.1 per cent increase is applied.

Neil Middleton, chairman of The Association of Public Transport Users, said: “In current times when money is very tight it is always very sad that fares are going up by more than inflation.”

He added: “My main message is I hope FCC will continue all their efforts to continue to improve the service as much as they can so if it is an expensive journey at least it is a reliable journey.”

FCC said it was too early to say what individual fares would be but the information would be announced later this year.

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A spokesman said: “We will see no increase in profit – which is less than three pence in the pound – as a result of the rise in January.

“Government determines the average season ticket price rise and 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.”