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Rail commuters face double whammy price rises in new year

15 December 2011

Rail commuters are facing a "double whammy" in the New Year with higher car parking charges on top of big fare rises, the TSSA union disclosed today.

Two of the biggest commuter services in the South East, South West Trains and First Capital Connect will announce higher car parking charges in the run up to Christmas.

And a third company, East Midland Trains, which runs from Leicester down to London, will also impose new charges on top of the average 6% fare increases already announced.

Other train operating companies are expected to follow suit after they have detailed the fare rises next Tuesday after the Commons rises for the Christmas break.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA, accused the private train operating companies of using the parking increases to claw back some of the money they lost when Ministers cut January's expected 8.2% fares increase back to 6% after a passenger backlash.

"This is blatant profiteering by the private train operators who are simply exploiting an audience who cannot walk away from their service.

"We hear a lot about the squeezed middle-well these companies are now squeezing the middle until the pips squeak.

"Finding the cash to pay for expensive season tickets which are going up by 6% is hard enough. Now to mug them again on parking, when an annual car parking ticket can cost more than £1,000 in the South East, is simply outrageous."

The parking charges increases will be announced by individual rail firms but are expected to average out at 5%.

The union has long campaigned for car parking charges to be covered by the rail fares price formula rather than simply to be left to the rail companies to charge what they like.
 

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