First Capital Connect rail fare increases criticised
By LiseS | Friday, December 17, 2010, 15:06
First Capital Connect, the rail company which runs services through Finsbury Park between Stevenage, Peterborough, Cambridge and central London, has been heavily criticised by rail union TSSA for price increases of up to 46% in the new year.
The rail union accused the private rail firm of
"daylight robbery" on its commuter routes into London, and called on the
Transport Secretary to intervene to stop rises which are fourteen
times more than the current 3.2% inflation rate.
"FCC is simply holding its customers to ransom on some
of the busiest routes in the country," said union general secretary
Gerry Doherty. This is daylight robbery, pure and simple, and this
firm thinks it can get away with it because Philip Hammond has given
them the green light by lifting the old fares cap of inflation plus 1
Industry figures state that rail fares will increase by average of 6.2 per cent from January 2. Regulated fares, including season tickets, are capped to 1% above inflation (using the July RPI rate). The prices of unregulated tickets, which include short-distance and off-peak fares, are not restricted by such caps.
TSSA points out that the price of a First Capital Connect a Flexitime season ticket from Hornsey to Stevenage will increase from £194.40 to £284.20 in January, an increase of 46.2%. Tickets from Hornsey to Welwyn Garden City will also increase in price by almost 40%.
Car parking charges at FCC stations are also set to rise by an average of 8%. First Capital Connect has stated that the tickets quoted by TSSA are used by "fewer than 0.3%" of its passengers.
TSSA general secretary
Gerry Doherty is not satisfied, however, and calls on the government to step in. "The Transport Secretary must now step in to stop this
blatant profiteering," says Doherty. "He has effectively given the private rail
companies a licence to print money at the expense of the travelling
Are you braced for above-inflation rail price increases in the new year? Will this affect your journey into work? Should the government intervene to restrict rail price rises? Let us know below!