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Maidenhead commuters set to be hit by rail fare hike

Commuters are set to be left out of pocket when rail fares increase next year.

The 3.6 per cent price hike is based on Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation, which was announced on Tuesday, and will affect season tickets and standard returns.

Richard Porter from the Maidenhead – Marlow Passenger Association said the increases will affect commuters the most.

“A lot of people have no alternative, if they want to get to work in London or Reading,” he said.

“This could also increase congestion in Maidenhead and Twyford.

“They are going up in line with consumer prices not with wages so people are going to be worse off.”

Richard’s feelings were echoed by travellers at Maidenhead Station on Wednesday morning.

Student Stephen Gow, 24, was on his way to Scotland for a holiday, he said: “I think they should be increasing some fares but they have done it to the wrong ones.

“They should be increasing the fares where people have alternative modes of transport.

“I think it is unfair.”

The increases, which come into force in January, would see an anytime day return from Maidenhead to London Paddington rise to £22.68 from £21.90.

An annual season ticket which currently costs £2,988 will increase by £107, while a weekly ticket will rise from £74.70 to £77.38.

Commercial lawyer Emma Zerilli said the increase would make her rethink how she uses the trains.

The 41-year-old, from Winkfield Row, gets the train into London about once a month, from Ascot or Maidenhead.

She said if she can she will try to travel off peak to save money,  adding ‘if there is no need to go in earlier I will definitely wait’.

But Giorgio Battistini, who has been travelling to London on the train two or three times a week for about five years, said the increase will not affect the way he travels.

The 52-year-old, of Ray Park Avenue, said: “It is better without an increase but it won’t change the way I use the train.

“I think it would be nice to have more fast trains and less crowded trains though.”

Online the Advertiser asked what you think about the announcement.

Twitter user Peter Baldwin branded the increase a ‘direct consequence of inflation caused by Brexit pound devaluation’.

While on Facebook Nick Farina said: “Commuter routes into London are charged at a premium rate and this heavily disadvantages local residents who only need to go to London occasionally for family, leisure and access to the airports.”

Zabrina Camilleri took issue with the current service saying: “If the trains were cleaner, ran on time and weren't always jam packed, then they could justify raising prices. But right now they don't give a good enough service.”

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