Hard times for railway commuters

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THE price of an annual season ticket to London for Hastings commuters has now topped £4,000.

As of January 1, a season ticket has gone up from £3,956 to £4,136, an increase of 4.95 per cent.

This figure does not include the cost of London Underground or London bus travel.

The 2012 hike in rail fares has not been as steep as was originally feared, with prices increasing on average by six per cent rather than eight per cent. This means that the Hastings increase is below the national average, though this may not be much comfort to daily commuters.

Martin Woodfine, spokesperson for rail action group SHRIMP, said that the increase was unavoidable as it is government policy, adding: “Any increase is regrettable, but having said that, we are beginning to see investment in the lines.”

This comes amid travel chaos for passengers making the journey between Hastings and Ashford, with the line closed for nine weeks during maintenance works.