RAIL passengers in Basingstoke face more train pain after it was announced regulated fares will increase by 3.5 per cent.
The amount train companies can increase certain fares, such as season tickets, by are based on a formula of July’s retail price index (RPI) inflation figure, plus one per cent.
On Tuesday, the office for National Statistics said RPI was 2.5 per cent last month, meaning that from January, fares could rise by 3.5 per cent.
South West Trains currently sells 12-month season tickets from Basingstoke to London Waterloo from £4,076.
An increase of 3.5 per cent could see this increase by £143.66 to £4,218.66.
But the price could increase further to 4.5 per cent under a “flex” rule, which allows train companies to increase fares by two per cent above the average, as long as the overall average stays at RPI plus one per cent.
This would increase the price of the season ticket to £4.259.42. Those figures do not include the price of parking at Basingstoke railway station.
David Sidebottom, director of the watchdog group Passenger Focus, said: “We know from our own research that value for money is a key priority for rail passengers.
“Our most recent national rail passenger survey put passenger satisfaction on value for money among commuters as low as 31 per cent.
“This level of fare increase puts more pressure on the railways to ensure passengers get an excellent service for their money.”
He called on the Government to cap fare rises in line with inflation, as they did this year.
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.”