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First Capital Connect hikes season tickets by 46%

13 December 2010

First Capital Connect was branded the greediest rail firm in the UK today after it was revealed that it is raising commuter season tickets by as much as 46% from 2 January 2011.

The charge was made by the TSSA rail union which accused the private rail firm of "daylight robbery" on its commuter routes into London. It called on the Transport Secretary to intervene to stop the rises which are fourteen times more than the current 3.2% inflation rate.

"FCC is simply holding its customers to ransom on some of the busiest routes in the country," said union general secretary Gerry Doherty.

"This is daylight robbery, pure and simple, and this firm thinks it can get away with it because Philip Hammond has given them the green light by lifting the old fares cap of inflation plus 1 per cent.

"All the rail companies claim that fares are only going up by an average of 6.2 per cent from January 2. But as we can now see, that average masks real pain for thousands of passengers.

"The Transport Secretary must now step in to stop this blatant profiteering. He has effectively given the private rail companies a licence to print money at the expense of the travelling public."

FCC has told all commuters using flexi season tickets travelling away from the capital to work that the tickets will be scrapped from January 2.

The new monthly season tickets will be:

- Hornsey to Stevanage Flexitime (£194.40) New Price (£284.20)Increase 46.2%
- Hornsey to Welwyn Garden City: Flexitime (£135.20) New Price (£188.20) Increase 39.2%.
- New Barnet to Welwyn Garden City: Flexitime (£97.20) New Price (£135.20) Increase 38.7%.

The union general secretary also revealed that on top of record increases in their season tickets, FCC commuters also face an average 8% in car parking charges.

"This firm could teach Fagin a few tricks when it comes to picking the pockets of its customers, " he added.

FCC is part of the First Group which was dubbed the Worst Group in 2007 after it provoked the first ever passenger strike on its First Great Western franchise by axing carriages and toilets to boost profits.

It is currently receiving tax payer subsidies of over £100 million a year.

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