Sunday, 24 September 2017

Rail fares increase

COMMUTERS in Henley, Shiplake and Wargrave faced an increase in rail fares of more than two per cent this week.

The rise, which is based on the retail price index in July, covers regulated fares such as season tickets and unregulated ones such as off-peak tickets.

It comes as work to electrify the Great Western main line from Reading to London continues. The Henley branch line was due to be electrified by 2019 but the work was deferred indefinitely in November.

Patricia Mulcahy, who chairs the Henley Branch User Group, said: “The increase happens every year, certainly since the Government decided to tilt the balance from subsidy back towards passengers.

“On the plus side, we can certainly see that electrification of the main line is well under way and new trains are being purchased, all of which should lead to an improved service.

“However, for as long as the existing trains are running through what is a massive construction site, with resultant overcrowding and delays, commuters and other passengers are likely to think that the improvements cannot come soon enough.”

Neil Gunnell, of Henley Trains, said: “By the year end, travellers should see a performance improvement.”

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