KU students are angered by rail fares increased on average by 3.1 per cent this January, causing single fares and travel cards to increase in price.
Pay as you go Oyster fares have not risen in conjunction with Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s fare freeze for a third year running, whereas National Rail fares have increased by 8.8 per cent over the last three years.
“I am delighted to be freezing TfL fares for the third year in succession. Our TfL fares freeze is in contrast to the private rail companies hiking up fares again, despite the litany of cancelations, delays and overcrowding on services like Southern and South Western Railway,” said Khan.
Most trains coming in to Kingston and Surbiton are run by South Western Railway (SWR). SWR argues that many of their advance fares have been frozen and fare increases have risen on average by 2.9 per cent, less than the national average.
SWR will be investing £1.2 billion which will go toward better facilities and customer information, with £110M in train refurbishments and £895M on new and updated trains, according to a SWR representative.
First year KU engineering student Connor Read said: “I do not think SWR can justify raising their prices. Trains are never on time, there are constant disruptions and I do not see that money going to improve the services any time soon. Frankly, it’s gotten worse.”
Oyster and pay as you go will “shortly be expanded to cover rail services to Epsom and Hertford North” with consultation to extend further around London in 2019.
Third year media communication with psychology student Andreia Ramos said: “I think it’s quite outrageous. I do not see improvements in the rails or train frequency. I was already struggling with fares for zone one to six. Increases in fares have made me completely revisit my monthly budget.”
TfL believe that independent rail companies could see an increase in rail fares of over 10 per cent by 2020.
Third year English literature student Shannon Hayes said: “Train fares rising is absolutely ridiculous, students pay for enough let alone having to pay extra just to get to university. They always claim to be fixing the rails and making them better but I’m struggling to see these changes to warrant raising more than the rate of inflation.”