St Neots train fares hit £6,000 as ticket prices rise again


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Rail commuters from St Neots to the capital will have to pay more than £6,000 for an annual season ticket for the first time in the new year.

Passengers on peak Great Northern trains from St Neots and Huntingdon to London will see fares rise by an average 2.5 per cent in line with inflation, as announced in the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Autumn statement on December 3.

Previously Government guidelines meant between 2004 and 2013, regulated fares – season tickets, off-peak return journeys over long distances and anytime tickets around major cities – rose one per cent above inflation.

The rise means that commuters wishing to travel from St Neots to London King’s Cross with a travelcard will see an increase of £144 to £6,016.

The same fare from Huntingdon will increase to £6,224, a rise of £148.

Operator Great Northern, which took over the route franchise in September, has also increased off-peak day return tickets by an average of 2.3 per cent.

From January, off-peak travellers from Huntingdon and St Neots to London will pay £26.50 (3.4 per cent rise) and £24.50 (3.1 per cent rise) respectively, 80p more than currently.

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A spokesman for Great Northern said: “Off-peak day returns have increased by an average of 2.3 per cent, some locations will be above this and some below. The average cost of an off peak day carnet will have increased in line with this as these fares are linked with off peak day return tickets.

“This is still below 2.5 per cent – the rate of inflation.

“The fares that most people pay – season tickets and walk up anytime tickets – are regulated by Government and will rise by a flat rate of 2.5 per cent on January 2. Looking at all our tickets combined, regulated and unregulated, fares will rise by an average of just 2.58 per cent.”

The announcement comes at the same time as latest estimates from the Office of Rail Regulation show the number of passengers from and to Huntingdonshire stations increased in the last year.

It shows the number of passengers entering and exiting Huntingdon between April 2013 and March 2014 rose to 1,692,134 from 1,685,132 – more than 4,600 a day on average.

St Neots Railway Station was also busier, up to 1,214,383 entries and exits – an increase of 33,249 on the previous 12 months.

The new prices come into effect on January 2.