Weston-super-Mare faces biggest hike in train fares since 2013

PUBLISHED: 17:32 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:32 07 December 2017

The new efficient GWR train. Picture: Great Western Railway

The new efficient GWR train. Picture: Great Western Railway

Archant

Weston-super-Mare will see the biggest rise in train fares since 2013 after the area's main rail line confirmed a 3.5 per cent increase.

Great Western Railway (GWR) has revealed it will be raising its train fares across the service in line with the new Government budget.

The rise has now been confirmed by the Government and is linked to the Retail Price Index, which measures inflation. The new fares will be introduced from January 2.

A GWR spokesman said: “The rise in train fares is determined by Government policy and the increase in regulated fares is determined by a Government algorithm.

“Since 2007 the Government decided to move the burden of paying for the upkeep and development of the railway line from tax payers to railway passengers, which explains why there has been an increase in fares.

“The money raised by the increase in ticket fares will be invested in more trains and improvements to existing lines.”

The change will see passengers purchasing an annual season tickets from Weston to Bristol Temple Meads paying approximately £66 more, rising from £1,876 to £1,942.

Some of the money from train fares has already been invested back into the service, with the introduction of a new faster and greener train.

The British built Intercity Express Train will provide more seats for passengers and faster journeys to different destinations across the South West and London.

The train will include bigger carriages, increasing the capacity of trains by 24 per cent and shaving 15 minutes off trips to London.

It has already been introduced on routes between Weston and Bristol and GWR hopes to welcome more frequent services to London, with trains leaving Bristol Temple Meads seven times an hour by January 2019.

Weston’s MP John Penrose said: “This will be a huge relief to all of us who use the trains regularly, particularly the peak rush-hour services where overcrowding can be a real problem.

“We need to give people an attractive alternative to using their cars, particularly if they commute to Bristol.

“It is greener, more sustainable, and should help cut jams at junction 21 of the M5 too.”

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