Southern fares set to rise - but passengers can claim a month's compensation
PUBLISHED: 09:58 02 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:58 02 December 2016
RMT spokesman brands fare rises "another kick in the teeth for British passengers"
Fares on the Southern rail network are to rise by an average of 1.8 per cent next year, it was confirmed today.
The hike is slightly lower than the national average of 2.3 per cent, which is the largest increase in three years and will take effect on January 2.
But Southern passengers will benefit from a one-off compensation payment after enduring months of travel misery due to a stand off between bosses and the Rail, Maritime and Trasnsport (RMT) union.
Under the scheme, annual season ticket holders will receive a payment equivalent to one month’s travel, while quarterly, monthly and weekly season ticket holders will also be able to claim an equivalent payment for the ticket type.
Customers claiming against quarterly, monthly or weekly tickets must have bought travel for at least 12 weeks between April 24 and December 31 to be eligible.
A more generous delay repay scheme is also set to be introduced, allowing passengers to claim 25 per cent of the cost of the single fare for delays between 15 and 29 minutes.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This latest fares hike is another kick in the teeth for British passengers and condemns them to continue to pay some of the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed out and unreliable trains.
“Once again the rip-off private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank as they whack up fares and axe staff in all-out dash to maximise their profits.”
But rail minister Paul Maynard claimed the burden of paying for investment in the network is “fairly balanced” between taxpayers and passengers.
He added: “Getting Southern rail services back on track is a priority for the Government and I know that what passengers want most is a reliable service.
“But when things do go wrong it is right that we compensate people who have not had the service that they deserve. This is a gesture in recognition of the problems people have faced.”