COMMUTERS will not have to pay as much as they thought for their train tickets in next month’s fare rises.
The Chancellor, George Osborne announced this week that prices will go up by six per cent, rather than eight per cent as originally feared from January 1.
But passenger groups still criticised the new increases.
Derek Coffee, county officer for the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “It is hardly good news but a massive relief from the punitive eight per cent rise that was threatened. A bigger increase would have persuaded people to turn back to using their cars on the roads and our campaign is to encourage people to use public transport.”
Mike Hewitson, spokesman for Passenger Focus, said: “This announcement will take some of the sting out of this year’s fare rises but will still mean that fares will go up by an average of six per cent. We are pleased to see the Government commit to additional investment in transport infrastructure and are keen to see the detail and will be analysing the impact on passengers.”
Mike Gibson, public affairs manager for Southeastern, which runs trains from Hastings, Battle and Tunbridge Wells to London’s Charing Cross station, said: “In light of the Chancellor’s statement we are currently recalculating our 2012 fare increase and will be able to tell passengers the revised fare from their local station within the next few weeks.”
Hastings MP Amber Rudd said she welcomed the news. She said: “It will help hard pressed families with the cost of living. This is good news for rail users.”