Eastbourne commuters are likely to face a price hike of up to £150 as rail fares are set to increase by 3.5 per cent in the New Year.
Those who buy a season ticket for journeys from Eastbourne to London will be met with a £152 jump to £4,504, while commuters from Eastbourne to Brighton will face a £75 increase, taking their season ticket price to £2,219 for the year.
The predictions are based on the Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation figure of 2.5 per cent, with the Government expected to set the rise for January 2015 at 2.5 per cent plus 1 per cent. Train companies have flexibility to increase some regulated fares by an additional 2 per cent, meaning some fares could go up by 5.5 per cent in the New Year.
While the Government has not officially decided on the rise, it is being urged to cap them as this latest price increase would mean rail fares have rocketed by more than 40 per cent since 2006.
A spokesperson for Southern Railway said, “Regulated fares such as season tickets are set by Government. These are regulated so as to increase the share of rail’s costs paid by passengers rather than taxpayers.
“Money raised by regulated fares goes towards better trains, stations and services. We have invested heavily in new trains, with 170 new carriages entering service on the Southern network.
“We have invested around £70 million on building five new stations and carrying out major improvements at others.
“For those who travel off-peak, there are real bargains to be had with cheap Advance fares from £5 and Super Off-Peak fares being offered by Southern.”
The Department for Transport defended the planned rise. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said, “We fully recognise there’s more to do to bring down the cost of rail travel in Britain but we need to do it responsibly and we can’t spend money we don’t have.”