This article was published online on December 29th 2015. The original can be viewed online here.
Rail fare increases on the Thameslink line – which runs through West Hampstead, Kentish Town and Kings Cross St Pancras – have been savaged by a passenger group.
Fares are set to rise by approximately 0.8 per cent, which operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) says is below the national average inflation rate of one per cent.
The rise will only affect fares including single and return tickets to Luton Airport and all fares starting or ending outside the London Travelcard zone under £10 will stay at the current price.
Hampstead and Kentish Town passengers buying weekly tickets will see a rise of 30p to £32.40 (an increase of £15.60 per year) and a rise of only 10p to £17.90 (an increase of £5.2 per year) for travelling to and from London.
Spokesman Roger Perkins has assured users that the frozen fare prices will not increase until the next fares review.
GTR say that the minimal changes will give customers a better value for money, however Association of Public Transport Users chairman Neil Middleton believes the service on the line is not worth the increase.
“It’s disappointing that the fares are going up because they are charging a premium price for a non-premium quality service,” he said.
The association lobbies for improvements on fares and performances for customers travelling between Harlington and West Hampstead.
Mr Middleton believes the financial burden this will have on Hampstead and Kentish Town residents and workers will result in having to cut other expenditures because wage increases are not in line with the fare increase.
He said that if residents or workers aren’t happy with the changes they should contact their local council members.
“Residents should take their issues up with their MPs because it’s a government issue not a decision which is made by the train operator,” he said.