12/01/2010 AT 04:30
Passengers using South West Trains services will pay on average just 24p more for a journey. Industry figures show that 97p of every pound from ticket income in the UK goes towards the costs of running today's railway*.
South West Trains, which operates the country's most complex commuter network, is one of the UK's best performing rail operators. More than 80% of passengers already travel on discounted tickets and customers are also benefiting from a £50 million programme of station improvements and multi-million pound improvements to train fleet.
The new fare levels are the result of a change in Government policy in recent years, which has looked to sustain rail investment by cutting the amount that taxpayers contribute and requiring passengers to pay more.
The retail price index (RPI) inflation rate in July each year is used as the benchmark for the Government's approach for the setting of fares. South West Trains fares will rise by an average of 1.7% above the July 2010 RPI figure of 4.8%. South West Trains' average fare was frozen in January 2010, with many passengers benefitting from price reductions.
South West Trains' new rail fares package, effective from 2 January 2011, will incorporate a range of value-for-money initiatives, including:
· hundreds of season ticket fares frozen in the London area
· passengers using Oyster to benefit from a prize freeze when travelling off-peak
· cheapest Advance fares frozen, with prices starting from just £9 one way
· off-peak day return tickets available for earlier travel from London on many longer distance journeys, providing improved day trip opportunities.
Andy Pitt, Managing Director of South West Trains, said: “We recognise that times continue to be tough for our customers. Our new fares levels from January reflect our commitment to offering a range of value ticket prices to our customers. At the same time, we are making a positive contribution to Government revenues.
“On average, our passengers will pay just 24p more for a journey, while continuing to benefit from a multi-million pound investment programme that will deliver better trains and improved stations.
“More than 80% of our passengers travel on discounted fares and 97p of every pound customers spend on their ticket in the UK goes towards covering the costs of running today's railway. We will continue to offer a range of value-for-money fares to suit all pockets as more people are attracted to our trains.”
South West Trains passengers are continuing to benefit from high levels of punctuality and ongoing investment. Latest figures show that the moving annual average for punctuality is running at more than 93%, which is higher than the national rail average for the UK.
Under its franchise commitment, South West Trains is making improvements to its stations and trains. From May 2011, passengers will be able to top up their Oyster cards at South West Trains stations in the London Travelcard area.
Customer satisfaction with South West Trains remains high. The most recent independent National Passenger Survey showed that 85% of passengers are satisfied with their train service. It also reported a 7% increase in the number of passengers who said their ticket represented value for money.
South West Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, remains one of Britain's most punctual train operators, according to the latest official performance data released today by Network Rail.
South West Trains, the UK's biggest commuter rail operator, is pioneering a new bike and ride initiative that will allow travellers to make greener integrated journeys.
Construction work started at Staines station on 16 August to provide passengers with step-free access between the station entrance and the platforms to make the railway more accessible for everyone.
There remains a high level of satisfaction amongst South West Trains passengers, according to an independent passenger survey released today by national transport watchdog, Passenger Focus.
Stagecoach Group's two rail franchises, East Midlands Trains and South West Trains, have received awards for safety, improved levels of performance and passenger satisfaction.
Commuters cycling to Surbiton Station can enjoy their train journey knowing their bikes are safe and secure following the introduction of a new cycle lock up.
New ticket prices effective from 2 January 2010 will also see no increase in the average fare paid by passengers across the South West Trains network.
Work to allow freight containers to be transported by rail from the Port of Southampton across the country in a quicker, cheaper, greener and more practical way will take place from Saturday 5 December to Sunday 10 January.
Budget train service megatrain.com has doubled the number of low-cost seats available on routes from Portsmouth and Southampton to London.
On Sunday 21 June the London to Brighton Bike Ride will take place. If you think about travelling with a bicycle on this day, please note that Southern and First Capital Connect Rail Services will operate with restrictions.