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Rail fare hike comes into effect

British rail passengers face higher ticket prices as inflation rise announced in December comes into effect.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2006 20:52 IST

British rail passengers face higher ticket prices on Monday as inflationrise announced in December comes into effect.

The rises have prompted rail passenger groups to call for improved services to offset the higher cost of travelling on the nation's rail network.

Season and saver tickets, which are regulated, will rise by an average of 3.9 percent (Retail Price Index plus one percent), according to the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), while unregulated fares will go up by an average 4.5 per cent.

Unregulated fares on GNER, which runs services between London and Scotland, will go up by 8.8 per cent.

The chief executive of the Rail Passengers Council, Anthony Smith said passengers wanted to see improved services. "The rail industry is going to have to work hard to demonstrate that these rises represent value for money," he told Sky News.

ATOC announced the fare hikes last month saying the extra revenue was needed to bring in better services.

ATOC said 1.07 billion journeys were made on the network in 2005, an increase of 30 million (2.5 per cent) over 2004.

Long distance services saw particular growth following the completion of the West Coast Main Line upgrade now running between London and Glasgow and ATOC said all railways on long distance routes were winning business back from the airlines.

Over the last ten years passenger journeys have increased by just over 40 percent, according to ATOC.

First Published: Jan 02, 2006 20:23 IST