On track for rail fare hikes from Monday

Hemel Hempstead Rail Station
Hemel Hempstead Rail Station

HIGHER rail fares for commuters in the borough will come into effect from Monday.

The extent of the hikes for commuters in Dacorum has been confirmed by train operator London Midland, but fares will rise by less than the 5.9 per cent seen on average for peak fares nationally.

London Midland has announced that the average increase for fares on its trains will be 4.2 per cent.

However the price of a standard annual season ticket from Hemel Hempstead to London will go up from £3,024 to £3,196 – an increase of 5.68 per cent.

Berkhamsted commuters will see the cost of a standard annual season ticket rise from £3,176 to £3,368 from January 2.

The regional branch of the Trades Union Congress has hit out at the increase.

Megan Dobney, the TUC regional secretary covering the east of England, said: “The cost of the railways in Britain is 30 to 40 per cent more expensive than equivalent train systems in Europe.

“We have the most expensive rail fares in Europe and a government that simply does not believe that it is its duty to make train services accessible to all.

“Since the privatisation of the railways, commencing in 1993, fare increases have nearly always run substantially ahead of the annual cost of inflation and in return we were promised a value for money rail system that was fit for the 21st century in terms of performance, safety and environmental standards.

“What we got was a rip-off, and that rip off is set to continue to 2015 with inflation busting inflation plus three per cent increases in the pipeline for every year after this one.”

London Midland said most off-peak fares, and car park prices, will remain unchanged.