Rail and bus fares on the rise
TRAIN passengers from Weston to Bristol had an unwelcome start to the New Year in the form of higher ticket prices. South West train operators First Great Western claims the above inflation rise of 4.8 per cent is needed to pay for £200million worth of i
TRAIN passengers from Weston to Bristol had an unwelcome start to the New Year in the form of higher ticket prices. South West train operators First Great Western claims the above inflation rise of 4.8 per cent is needed to pay for £200million worth of improvements over the next few years and to meet increasing fuel costs.Spokesman Adrian Ruck said: "We are investing heavily in refurbishing stations and updating interiors of trains to make passengers more comfortable." But railway pressure group Passenger Focus spokesman Mike Greedy said: "Passengers in Weston and Somerset already suffer from reduced services and overcrowded trains and will perceive this price increase to be a further stab in the back."It seems as though the Government is allowing the train companies to price people off the railways rather than encouraging their use."Saver tickets and season commuter tickets regulated by the Department for Transport (DFT) have also gone up by 4.3 per cent, one per cent above inflation. A DFT spokesman said: "Fare payers must pay for their services as well as taxpayers. "In real terms, regulated fares are still three per cent less than in 1996."There have been more years of below inflation increases than above inflation increases."And in a further blow to public transport users, First bus company has also announced its fares will go up by an average of three per cent from Sunday.Adult single bus fares in Weston will increase by 5p but return fares will remain unchanged.Weston passengers will escape a 10p rise in child fares up to £2.50 to be introduced elsewhere in Avon and Somerset for fares.