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Commuters from Norfolk and Waveney facing steep fare rises on trains

PUBLISHED: 15:30 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:30 15 August 2017

Generic Norwich Train Station. Greater Anglia train. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Generic Norwich Train Station. Greater Anglia train. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

Commuters from Norfolk and Waveney stations to London are facing rises of hundreds of pounds in their season ticket fares next year as inflation crept up in July.

The July Retail Prices Index figure is used as the yardstick by which rail companies can increase regulated fares – including season tickets and tickets bought on the day, both off-peak and for journeys at anytime.

This means that Greater Anglia will be able to increase its fares by an average of up to 3.6pc. Not every fare will go up by that much from the start of January next year and this year’s fare increases in the Greater Anglia region averaged less than the maximum permitted figure.

However these figures mean that Greater Anglia could put the cost of commuting from Norwich to Liverpool Street could go up by nearly £284 a year – and from Diss by £264 a year.

Commuters from Wymondham and Lowestoft could see their fares rise by more than £250.

The exact fare increases will be announced in December with the new fares starting from January 1.

A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said: “Fares policy for regulated rail fares including season tickets and standard day returns is set by the government of the day and linked to the previous year’s Retail Price Index. Greater Anglia can set the price of some unregulated fares, including Advance Singles such as Norwich to London for £10.

“We are constantly working to improve services and offer better value for money to our customers. We are currently investing huge amounts in the railway in East Anglia including £1.4 billion replacing every single train with brand new trains from 2019 and we’re spending £60 million improving stations.”

Over the last 10 years season ticket prices have risen by 40pc – but rises were higher in the earlier years before the inflation cap came in.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “The Government carefully monitors how rail fares and average earnings change, and keeps under review the way fare levels are calculated.

“We have always fairly balanced the cost of this investment between the taxpayer and the passenger. We are driving the industry hard to improve efficiency to ensure we maximise the value of passengers’ and taxpayers’ investment in the railways.”

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