Protestors will be at Ely station to campaign against train ticket price rise
PUBLISHED: 09:43 02 January 2019
Ely commuters face the biggest train ticket price hike in five years, according to campaigners, who are staging a protest on Wednesday (2).
New fares will add hundreds of pounds to many commuters’ annual travel from January 2 with annual season tickets to Cambridge from Ely to increase by £164.
Rebecca Denness Ely Labour transport spokesperson said: “Commuters from Ely have been badly affected by cancellations and late trains this year following the botched introduction of new timetables, bad weather and track faults.”
“Train punctuality fell to a 13-year low last year with passengers using all of the mainline services to Cambridge and London.
“It marks yet another price hike for Ely commuters who travel on overcrowded and often late running trains to London.
“Despite this appalling level of service on already overcrowded trains, season ticket prices will increase by 3.2 per cent.
“Typically a season ticket from Ely to London will now cost £5,316 per annum”.
The majority of commuters from Ely are public sector workers whose wages only increased by one per cent.
Local Labour Party members will be at Ely station on Wednesday January 2 from 8am to highlight the rail fare increase being imposed on commuters.
Cambridgeshire Labour MEP Alex Mayer has slammed the 36 per cent price hike since 2010 and says Britain needs to learn from other European railways.
“Britain’s long suffering rail commuters will spend up to five times more of their income than their European counterparts as a result of January’s price hike,” she said.
Figures show on average Brits spend 55p per mile travelling by rail - it costs half that in Ireland at 27p and Belgium at 24p, while German passengers pay just 19p a mile.
Since 2010 British rail fares have risen three times as fast as earnings even though commuter satisfaction has dipped to a 10-year low, she added.
Alex, a regular user of the Ely to Kings Cross line, said: “Give commuters a break. Surely after the delays, cancellations and overcrowding on the railways last year, the government should not be allowing fares to increase faster than many people’s wages.
“We need to be encouraging people onto trains not putting obstacles in the way.”
Season ticket price rises:
• Ely to London £5,152 to £5,316.
• Ely to Cambridge £1,252 to £1,292.
• Greater Anglia Special Ely to Cambridge £980 to £1020.