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Rail fares on the up again next year - average 2.3% rise

Another kick in the teeth for passengers - that's how union leaders have described today's announcement that train fares will rise once again. From January the 2nd, prices will go up by an average of two point three percent.

On South West Trains, passengers will have to find an extra £120 to pay for an annual season ticket from Bournemouth to London.

While on Southern, an annual ticket for long-suffering commuters on the Brighton to London line will cost over £80 more in the New Year.

But the government also said today that thousands of Southern passengers are in line for compensation, as John Ryall explains.

Football & horse racing - Mick Channon's son pens a book about his dad's sporting adventures

The former England international footballer Mick Channon is one of a rare breed, having reached the top in two sports.

He is remembered fondly as a player at both Southampton and Portsmouth football clubs, before he switched to horse racing.

However in a new book he's described as grumpy, foul-mouthed and short-tempered. The author of the book should know - it's his own son.

Mike Hall has been to West Ilsley to speak to the Channons.

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Which? says fare rises are 'a bitter pill' for rail users

More reaction to next year's rail fare rises

The consumer watchdog 'Which?' has criticised the 2.3% average increase in rail fares for next year.

"Today's confirmation that rail fares are on the rise again will be a bitter pill to swallow for passengers who continue to experience cancellations, delays, overcrowding and poor service from their train companies.

"If trust in the rail industry is to be rebuilt, more must be done to ensure passengers are able find the best ticket for their journey and cheaper fares must not be hidden. Passengers need to be able to easily access compensation where it is owed and the system for handling complaints must be urgently overhauled."

– Vickie Sheriff, Director of Campaigns and Communications at Which?

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ASLEF union on rail fare rises: Passengers treated like 'sheep to be fleeced'

The head of the ASLEF union which represents train drivers has said that the 2.3% average increase in train fares next year is 'scandalous'.

The trade union's General Secretary, Mick Whelan, accused the government of allowing the privatised train companies to make even more money than they were already making, even though for some passengers it was an 'ever poorer service,’

‘This new price hike – well above the rate of inflation – is indefensible and designed to punish passengers. Fares have now soared 25% in the last six years.

‘The train companies see passengers as sheep to be fleeced but it is shameful that the government is going along with them. No wonder so many commuters, many of them Tory voters, are now saying they’ve had enough.

‘Just look at Southern – a company which MPs say lets down passengers every day of the year – yet wants to be rewarded even more handsomely for its failure to deliver on the pledges it made when it was awarded its franchise by the DfT.

‘We have the most expensive railway in Europe and the train companies, aided and abetted by this Conservative government, are about to make it even harder for people to travel at a time when so many families are only just about managing.’

– Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF

Train fares to go up by 1.8% on Southeastern in 2017

Southeastern trains have revealed their 1.8% fare increase for next year

A spokesperson from Southeastern trains has issued a statement on the day that it was announced rail fares on its services will go up by an average of 1.8% from January 2017.

The average national increase on ticket prices is 2.3%.

"The overall average fare rise for Southeastern next year is 1.8 per cent, which is below the national average of 2.3 per cent. It is also slightly under the national rise set by the government's for regulated fares of 1.9 per cent - which is for season tickets and peak time fares

“We understand that value for money is a priority for our passengers and that's why we are offering discounts and freezing prices on specific off peak fares, which are the ones under our control.

“For example, our online advance fares, which are already our cheapest tickets, are being frozen at January 2016 prices.

“We also offer a range of special offers and promotional fares on other Off-Peak travel. These include our Kids For A Quid offer, for one adult with a valid ticket to pay just £1 each for up to four children ** as well as our Super Off-peak fares.

"Fares revenue contributes to the maintenance and future investment of services, as well as rail infrastructure. Over the next three years, we are investing millions of pounds refurbishing trains and stations, and providing better quality information to help people with their journeys.

“In addition to this, we have taken on 300 extra frontline staff to assist passengers, we have invested five million pounds in repainting and revamping all the 165 stations we manage, and one third of our entire train fleet are currently undergoing a rigorous refurbishment.”

– Southeastern spokesperson

Watchdog reacts: 'Passengers will be disappointed'

The independent travel watchdog 'Transport Focus' has given its response to the news that rail fares will rise by an average of 2.3% from 2nd January 2017. The organisation looks after the rights of transport users - including people who travel by train.

“Passengers will be disappointed that fares will rise by 2.3 per cent - higher than the last two years. Passengers will now want to see the industry’s investment deliver a more reliable day-to-day railway. The Government should consider setting rail fare rises around the Consumer Prices Index instead to bring rail fares into line with other recognised measures of inflation.

“Many commuters, in London and the south east in particular, have suffered poor performance. For Southern passengers the one-off refund will be a welcome step to rebuilding trust in the long term. The 15-minute Delay Repay compensation on Govia Thameslink Railway starting next week is a welcome improvement for passengers.”

– Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus
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