Rail Fare Increase to Hit Royal Holloway Commuters
A rise in train fare prices in England and Wales came into affect on the 2nd January 2015. Regulated fares, including season tickets, increased by on average 2.2%, although some rose by 2.5%. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has tried to justify the increase by citing the need for the vital maintenance and improvement of the country’s rail infrastructure.
This major investment in the train industry aims to continue the modernisation to stations, as is happening currently at London Bridge, and to the railways themselves. Although, as the government was quick to point out, the increase is the lowest annual rise in five years, it is higher than the current level of inflation and more than the current increase in annual wages. Britons now pay some of the highest train fares in Europe.
Whilst affecting almost every household in England and Wales, this increase will likely affect the majority of Royal Holloway students, particularly those commuting in and out of London. First year RHUL English student Monica Anna said “The rise in prices, although subtle, will affect me as the accumulation every day will make a significant difference to how much money I need to save for travelling.” Furthermore first year politics student Aya Laforet felt the rise in train fares had “heavy implications” for her limited amount of travel money.
On the other hand, perhaps a major silver lining in this price rise, rail companies have agreed that they will inform passengers when they can get a cheaper fare. This means companies will put signs on their machines telling passengers how they can get cheaper fares for certain journeys. Lets just hope we see enough of an improvement on the railways, trains and stations in order to justify this jump in prices.