The first full week back at work after the summer break started with a Monday of misery for thousands of Thames Valley commuters.
The Government is facing mounting pressure to reconsider its 6.2 per cent rail fare rise for commuters in the South.
The transport network was put to the ultimate test. Indeed, the Government had warned to expect queues and disruption. So, how did it go?
The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) has said the overall average rise, including non-season tickets, will be 3.9% on Wednesday, with some fares not going up as much as this.
But with some non-season-ticket unregulated fares allowed to be increased by an unlimited amount, Railfuture said that some fares could be going up by around 11% or 12%.
From Wednesday, fares are also going up by an average of 4.2% on the Underground and on London buses.
– Bruce Williamson, Railfuture spokesperson
Petrol tax is frozen and overall the cost of driving remains static. How does this help persuade people out of their cars and ease congestion? Where is the green policy?
The Government has announced it is cutting its proposed rail fare rises following a campaign by commuters and the region's MPs.
In January, fares were supposed to go up by more than six per cent (6.2%) but today it was revealed that's been reduced to just over four (4.2%) instead. For passengers it means an annual season ticket costing £5,000 will go up by £210 instead of £310.
The Government have also confirmed the rise next year will also be capped to inflation plus one per cent. **
But commuters say it's still too much as our transport correspondent Mike Pearse reports.
Full statement from Department for Transport on rail fares
Passengers will benefit from a two per cent cut to the planned rises in the cost of nationwide train travel and travel on London buses and tubes following today’s announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The average increase in regulated rail fares and the cost of travel on London’s buses and tube network will be limited to one per cent above inflation for 2013 and 2014. Fares had been due to increase by RPI+3 per cent.
This is expected to benefit more than a quarter of a million annual season ticket holders who can expect to have an extra £45 back in their pockets as a result of today’s decision.
- The Department for Transport (DfT) is planning that from January 2015 onwards the regulated fares cap for franchised train operators will increase by RPI+1 per cent
- The fares national rail passengers pay will continue to support our major programme of rail improvements, the largest in scale since the Victorian era. It will deliver crucial benefits for passengers, including relief from crowding on some of the nation’s busiest routes.
- The Government still believes it is vital that efficiencies are found in the cost of running the railways so that we can deliver better value for money for both taxpayers and farepayers and end the era of above-inflation rises.
– Department of Transport
The decision to reduce the planned increases, funded from savings identified in the DfT’s budget, will benefit hard-pressed commuters and passengers. In future years the DfT will look to absorb the costs by reprioritising within existing budgets.
VIDEO: Commuters have been complaining about overcrowding again. A multi-million pound scheme has been far from successful. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse talked to Dan Panes from First South Western.
The first full week everyone is back at work after the summer break started with a Monday of misery for thousands of Thames Valley commuters.
Trains faced massive overcrowding in part due to flooding in the west of the country. This led to delays and some cancellations.
This was the scene on the 08.08 from Reading to Paddington. For passengers the overcrowding crisis is meant to be getting better as £29 million of extra carriages are in service.
48 extra means every train now has one more carriage providing an additional 4,500 rush hour seats.
Commuter trains into London busy this morning, but queue barriers are empty at St Pancras...