[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Sunday, 20 May 2007, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Rail passengers face higher fares
An Arriva Train
The new prices came into effect on Sunday
New increased fares on many services being run by one of Wales's main train operators have come into effect.

From Sunday, passengers face fare rises of up to 34% on Arriva Trains Wales services with the withdrawal of the cheapest "walk up" train fares.

A passenger watchdog has criticised the end of the 'SuperSaver' fares as "bad news for rail passengers".

Arriva said it was offering "new attractive prices" for long distance travel and encouraging advance booking.

Arriva is one of 26 UK rail companies and operates 910 services a day on weekdays across Wales and the borders.

The franchise is managed by the Welsh Assembly Government, which along with the UK department of transport, provides an annual subsidy of 140m.

Until Sunday, passengers buying SuperSaver tickets had been able to walk straight onto a train and travel relatively cheaply, apart from on Fridays and Saturdays in the summer.

Under the price rises the company announced earlier this month, the equivalent ticket from Bangor to Abergavenny will go up from 49.50 to 66.20 - a 34% increase.

The journey from Llandudno to Cardiff will climb 29% from 59.40 to 76.80 and a trip from Aberystwyth to Wrexham will rise 17% from 30.30 to 35.50.

An Arriva Train
Arriva said it would review prices once again in the autumn

Arriva said sales of the tickets had fallen by 21% over the previous three months.

Arriva commercial director Mike Bagshaw said: "Arriva Trains Wales's new fare structure reflects the way people buy their rail tickets these days.

"For longer journeys people tend to book in advance which is why we have introduced cheap options for north to south travel such as from Bangor or Llandudno Junction to Cardiff from as little as 15 or 9.90 for railcard holders."

A company spokesman added that it would be reviewing its prices again in the autumn.

But the company's move was criticised by customer watchdog Passenger Focus which said it was "bad news for rail passengers".

Stella Mair Thomas, Passenger Focus board member for Wales, added: "This move further erodes the ability to arrive at the station and buy a ticket for immediate travel.

"We recently carried out a mystery shopping exercise and 25% of our researchers were unable to buy a ticket either because there were no facilities at the station, or they couldn't find a guard on board the train to sell them one."

Rail service 'appalling' says MP
30 Nov 06 |  Mid Wales

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific