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Gravesend commuters face price hike

PUBLISHED: 17:32 16 August 2011

Archant

Beleagured rail passengers in Gravesend are facing huge hikes in fares again next year after the government allowed three per cent above inflation increases.

Passenger groups fear some routes on South Eastern lines to London will leap 13 per cent, with an average of eight or nine per cent overall.

The government deal for rail firms exceeds the previous one per cent allowance and means fares will rise four times faster than the average salary.

But operators have another five per cent or ‘flex’ to play with, which is added to some routes as long as others increase by less.

Chris Fribbins, of Rail Futures, said: “People in Gravesend have had a history of high price rises for many years, averaging about nine per cent, because of this ‘flex,’ and it’s beginning to hurt.”

A company spokesman said: “We recognise no one likes to pay more, and fare increases are always unpopular.

“But the cost of season ticket fares are directly regulated by the government. It’s their stated policy that passengers should pay more towards the cost of their journey and taxpayers contribute less.”

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