Season ticket price hike hits rail users

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Commuters travelling from Bedford into London now have to pay £168 more for their annual season ticket.

Price hikes of 4.2 per cent were added to the price of a season ticket from Bedford and Flitwick on Tuesday, and commuters claim that with wages not increasing the news will spell an ‘unhappy new year’.

Arthur Taylor, chairman of the Bedford Commuters Association, said: “Commuters are not happy bunnies, it’s a hefty increase. From our point of view the government has suspended the fuel charge all together, but won’t help users of the railways.

“The cost of motoring is fairly stable at the moment so it feels fairly discriminatory. All we want is a level playing field.”

He added: “Just because you are a rail commuter it doesn’t mean you are going to be flush with money. The more fares go up it means people have less disposable income and local retailers will suffer too.

“At the very least we would have liked to have seen below inflation increases, and all in all it’s not a happy new year if you are a commuter.”

Rail users travelling between Bedford and St Pancras will now have to pay £4,172 for a season ticket, the price of which does not include travel within London and equates to 84p per mile travelled.

Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “We understand commuters don’t like to pay more to travel to work but it is the government, not train companies, that decides how much season tickets should rise on average each year.”