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Orpington MP Jo Johnson criticised Southeastern for January fare increases
YET another round of train fare hikes has been dubbed “a double kicking” leaving Southeastern rail commuters “feeling the pinch”.
With inflation currently at five per cent, ticket prices are set to rise next year by an average of eight per cent.
This comes after the government changed its formula for calculating fare increases from inflation plus one per cent to inflation plus three per cent.
Passengers are still reeling from Southeastern fares going up by 12.6 per cent in January.
Chairman of the Orpington and District Passenger Transport Users Association Brian Cooke said: “I think it’s a pity Southeastern customers are going to face significantly above inflation rises for the fifth year in a row.
“They were the only train company that previously had huge rises and now passengers are getting a double kicking.”
Orpington MP Jo Johnson, who criticised Southeastern for its January fare increases, said: “I am conscious that rail users in Orpington will be feeling the pinch following this latest hike.
“I am due imminently to meet Charles Horton, the managing director of Southeastern trains, and I will be pressing hard for evidence that they are delivering value for money to commuters.
“In particular, we need more fast trains during peak hours and less overcrowding as justification for these very painful increases in fares.”
A spokesman for Southeastern said: “We recognise no one likes to pay more, and fare increases are always unpopular.
“But the cost of season tickets is directly regulated by the government.
“It’s the government’s stated policy that passengers should pay more towards the cost of their journey and taxpayers contribute less.
“So the subsidy paid to Southeastern by the Department for Transport to operate rail services in this area decreases in line with passengers’ fares increasing.”