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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 January, 2005, 15:53 GMT
Rail fare rise comes into force
Passengers buying tickets
Above-inflation rises are necessary for investment says the rail industry
Rail passengers face an above-inflation increase in their fares from Sunday.

Season tickets and saver fares are to rise by an average of 4%, while cheap day returns and advance bookings will increase by between 2% and 7.2%.

Train firms say the extra cash will improve the nation's network, but passenger groups say they would rather see improvements first.

Passengers will be asked to pay 7.2% more on tickets for some Silverlink services into London Euston station.

Click here for a list of each train company's fare rises

The lowest increase, at 2%, is on Hull Trains.

Inflation is currently running at 2.7%.

Rail Passengers Council spokeswoman Caroline Jones said: "Most passengers would say that they don't want to pay more for the same service now.

"What they want to see is that the investment going in is put into getting the trains running on time, because that's the one thing passengers really want to see.

"And if that's then happening, then they won't mind paying a bit more for a better service."

The fare hikes were originally announced in December.

George Muir, Director General of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), said: "Fares have to rise to pay for the huge investment which the rail industry is currently making in the railways - which is the fastest growing in Europe."

He said the money would pay for "new trains, better passenger facilities, improved customer information and more security at stations".

Regulated fares - set by the Strategic Rail Authority and including season and saver tickets - will rise on average by 4%.

Unregulated fares - determined by individual rail companies - such as cheap day returns, long distance open tickets and advance purchases will increase by varying amounts, but also averaging around 4%.

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Rail fare rises for 2005
Train company Average rise %
(regulated fares)
Average rise %
(unregulated fares)
Arriva Trains Wales 3.8 3.8
C2c 4 5
Central Trains 4 3
Chiltern Railways 4 6
First Great Western 4 2.6
First Great Western Link 4 5
First Scotrail 4 4
Gatwick Express 3.8 3.8
GNER 3.8 4.3
Great Northern (WAGN) 4 3.6
Hull Trains 2 2
Island Line 3.8 4
Merseyrail 3.1 3.1
Midland Mainline 4 3.5
Northern 4 3
ONE 4 3.5
Silverlink 4 7.2
South Eastern Trains 4 3
Southern 4 4-5
SWT 4 4.5
Thameslink 4 4.5
Trans-Pennine Express 3.6 4.5
Virgin Cross Country 4 4.5
Virgin West Coast 3.6 3.6
Wessex Trains 4 4
Source: Association of Train Operating Companies




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
What the fare increases will mean for passengers




SEE ALSO:
End of line for cheap day fares
18 Sep 04 |  Leicestershire
Rail users 'denied cheap tickets'
24 Aug 04 |  Business


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