Train fares price rise a 'raw deal' for Leicestershire passengers
Rail commuters were greeted by a fare hike on their return to work after the festive holiday.
Train fares went up by an average of 3.9 per cent due to price increases introduced yesterday.
The changes, announced by the Association of Train Operating Companies last summer, were down to a new Government policy insisting that a bigger share of funding for the railway must come from people who travel by train.
East Midlands Trains (EMT), which operates trains from Leicester to London and routes across the county, has increased its fares by an average of 4 per cent. It equates to a 52p hike in the price of an average single journey.
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The firm could not provide details of individual fare increases. However, the changes leave commuters travelling from Leicester to London St Pancras with an £810 bill for a monthly season ticket.
EMT's managing director David Horne said: "Railway funding can only come from the taxpayer or from the passenger.
"We know nobody likes paying more for their travel, especially to get to work. That's why we are working hard with the rest of the rail industry to make the system more cost-efficient and help take the pressure off future fare rises."
Rail union members and other campaigners, however, say the increases are excessive, with some passengers facing price hikes of up to 10 per cent for their journeys.
Paul Southwood, RMT branch chairman for Leicestershire and Rutland, said: "Rail passengers are getting a raw deal, paying up to four times as much as they did when British Rail ran the trains."
No-one from Cross Country Trains, which operate services from Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport, stopping at county stations, was available to comment.