RAIL fares and station car park charges in Huntingdonshire are set to increase from January.

Train operator First Capital Connect said fares would increase by an average of 5.5 per cent, compared with the national average of 6.2 per cent disclosed by the Association of Train Operating Companies, the passenger companies’ umbrella body.

Also from New Year’s Day, station car park tariffs will increase by an average of 8.5 per cent, including the 2.5 per cent rise in VAT.

FCC’s says its investment in improved facilities and security had resulted in a 50 per cent fall in reported crime at its station car parks in the last year.

But passengers can still avoid the price hikes by buying or renewing season tickets at 2010 prices during December.

First Capital Connect said: “We have sought to minimise price rises. On most tickets, these are the first price rises for two years. We want to encourage continued growth in rail travel and we have set our prices accordingly.”

A Huntingdon to London annual season ticket (no Travelcard) will go up from £4,004 to £4,260. The weekly equivalent will rise from £100.10 to £106.50. Prices with Travelcard go up from £5,076 to £5,340, and (weekly) £126.90 to £133.50.

From St Neots to London the annual season (no Travelcard) will rise from £3,824 to £4,080 (weekly £95.60 to £102.00. With Travelcard, the current price of £4,860 will become £5,160 (weekly £121.50 rising to £129).

Car parking at St Neots will go from £6.75 to £7.25 per day or from £1,100 to £1,200 per year in January. At Huntingdon, where the cost was reduced earlier this month from £6.25 to £5.50 per day or £950 to £825 annually, there will be no change in January.