WITH the news some train fares could increase by up to 11 per cent, trainee journalist Kelly Wickham asked Worthing rail passengers about their views.
Train fares are set to increase, on average, by 6.2 per cent in January – double the rate of RPI inflation – with some increases as high as 11 per cent.
Changes to the way in which rail firms can calculate prices means fares can increase by three per cent, plus the Retail Prices Index (RPI), currently 3.2 per cent.
Train companies can also increase some fares by an additional five per cent as long as they cut ticket prices elsewhere.
The extra money is said to be used to fund huge investment across the network, including replacing old signals which have caused delays.
The Government, which has allowed train firms to raise the tickets from January by three per cent above July’s RPI, has said rises are “essential” for investment, on what is already the most expensive railway in Europe.
The news is set to hit the wallets of commuters.
Some season tickets are projected to cost £1,000 more in 2015 than 2011, leading to commuters considering alternatives to rail transport.
Some commuters at Worthing railway station said the price increases were “unaffordable” and “not right” although many said the rise would not put them off using the trains.
Beth Sheils, 17, from Rochester Close in Durrington said: “My dad works for the train company but I don’t think it’s right that the fares are going to go up because people just can’t afford to pay it.
“Personally, I don’t have any problem with the current services being offered, but I do feel it’s pretty ridiculous when they are delayed. People become stressed and are late for work and college, so it causes huge problems.”
Lauren Poole, 18, of Downlands Avenue, Broadwater, said: “I travel to Brighton and it costs me about £5.50 a day at the moment but that’s only for three times a week.
“It’s sadly my only method of transport, I don’t currently even own a bike. I don’t think the services need any improvement, occasionally there is a delay, but not really a lot.
“The rise in fares won’t put me off using trains, it just means I’m going to have to find the money, and stop spending.”
Julia Thair, 49, from Offington Avenue, said: “It doesn’t really affect me as I don’t use the train regularly. I only use trains about once a month to go shopping in Brighton for the day.
“I’ve actually found the services to be OK, especially the timetable which has always suited me. Most of the time I arrive on the platform and I get a train straight away both at Brighton and Worthing.”
Christine Whittington, 56, of High Street, Shoreham, said: “The increase in train fares doesn’t really have an effect on me. I use the train only when I have appointments, which is probably about three times a week.
“I’ve found most of the services to be OK, even during the Olympics, which I heard was going to be busy.”