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Off peak rail fares are 'legalised robbery' - Gerry Doherty of the Transport Salaries Staffs Association says


by Katie Lamborn

'Legalised robbery' - that is the damning indictment of Southeastern's off-peak rail price hikes.

According to the Transport Salaries Staffs Association, train passengers in Kent who travel off peak will be the hardest hit by 2010 fare rises.

Off peak journeys will go up by 3.5 per cent, while peak travel and season tickets will increase by 1.6 per cent.

The increase will include advance off-peak fares that can be bought online.

Gerry Doherty, leader of the Transport Salaries Staffs Association, calls the price hikes “a scandal.”

“Passengers not only have to travel in cattle-like conditions but are treated as cash cows, to be milked by as much as these greedy companies can get away whenever possible.”

An off-peak open return from Canterbury now costs £21.90 but from January next year the fare will go up to £22.67.

John Hay-Campbell, customer services spokesman at Southeastern said: "nobody likes to see fares going up, but that it is stated policy that the government are looking for a way to reduce the subsidies they pay to train companies – that is why they "are trying to push more into the actual customer".

On average across the country, fares will rise by 1.1 per cent from January.

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