Sussex rail fare rise slammed as a ‘slap in the face for commuters’

Sussex rail passengers are being hit by an inflation-busting 2.7 per cent increase in fares from today (January 2).

That is 0.1 per cent below the retail price index in July 2019, to which ‘regulated fares’ are normally pegged. But it is nearly twice the latest consumer price index, which in October was 1.5 per cent.

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It means an annual season ticket from East Grinstead to London is expected to rise by more than £73 to £2,801.

Manual Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Stafs’ Association, said: “Millions of commuters are being dealt a slap in the face by inflation-busting fare rises while their own wages stagnate.”

However, the Rail Delivery Group which announced the rise said: “This is the third year in a row that train companies have held the average change across all fares below the July RPI rate of inflation, which regulated fares are pegged to.

“98p from every £1 spent on fares goes into running the railway with fares almost covering running costs freeing up public money to fund capital spending on improvements to the railway.”