Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting st albans to 80360, or email us
St Albans rail commuters hit by 4.2% fare rise
Commuters returning to work after the festive break were hit by price increases at the train station ticket office this morning.
First Capital Connect’s annual, monthly and weekly season tickets rose by about 4%.
The price of an annual season ticket from St Albans City Station to London went up 4.2% from £2988 to £3112.
A weekly ticket, which cost £74.70 last year, now comes in at £77.80.
Anytime day returns have increased by 3.9% to £18.70.
Passengers travelling from Harpenden were also hit with a rise of 2.9%, making their annual bill £3400.
Councillor Chris White, who commutes to London every day for work, said: "Rises for users of the Thameslink route leave a particularly bitter taste in the mouth.
"We pay increasingly through the nose for a rail service which is increasingly unreliable. "Trains fail on an all too regular basis.
"It’s time to get our rail services back on track and for a halt to these punitive fare increases."
Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Passenger Focus, said: "For passengers in St Albans returning to work today after enjoying Christmas, the above-inflation fare increases will add to their post-holiday blues.
"In the current economic climate, already hard-pressed passengers will feel the pinch with this."
However the operator has frozen the price of Super Off-Peak tickets, which are valid at weekends and bank holidays, for the second year running.
Neal Lawson, managing director of First Capital Connect, said: "We have pegged the rise on fares within our sole control to an average of 3.9% and by minimising the increase we are once again doing our best to help people in these difficult economic times.
"Only 3p in every pound that train operating companies receive is profit."