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Train fares rise across Kent

Southeastern train stock picture. Maidstone West railway station

Kent commuters are set for a new year hangover today - as the train fare rises kick in.

The average increase across the county on Southeastern lines is 4.1% for 2013 - which is below the guideline average set by the government of 4.2%.

But some commuters face an even greater hike.

An annual ticket from Canterbury East or West to London will cost £4,812 - a rise of 4.9%.

But that is still lower than originally touted by the rail giant.

It reduced its published rate of 5.9% - or an annual fare of £4,860 - following a massive outcry.


Meanwhile, travellers buying an annual ticket from Tonbridge, for example, will have to cough up £3,768, or an increase of 4.4%.

Southeastern spokesman Alison Nolan said at the time of the announcement: "Of course we appreciate that no-one welcomes prices rising.

"But it's important to say that season tickets are set by the government and it's the government's policy to move more of the cost of travelling by train to the passenger - and away from the general taxpayer.

"This year they announced the average increase would be RPI plus 1% (4.2%). Successive governments have instructed train companies every year to increase these regulated fares on average by more than inflation."

What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments belowBefore Southeastern revised the fares, commuters form Canterbury faced one of the biggest price hikes in the country.

Pressure group Passenger Focus argued the rail companies were not showing any flexibility in their decisions to increase fares.

Chief executive Anthony Smith said: "Passengers will feel this pain. After years of above-inflation fare rises, fresh increases are piling pressure on already high fares.

"The government and the rail industry must now work together to deliver on the welcome promise to get fare rises in line with inflation."

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