Commuters call for a return to a better train service

Bucks Free Press: Commuters call for a return of a better train service Commuters call for a return of a better train service

SOME commuters have said they would rather a better service back than a price freeze on season tickets.

Chiltern Railways announced last week it will freeze season ticket prices for commuters from Princes Risborough.

Commuters in the town and Saunderton were left fuming after the new timetable into London was introduced on December 9.

They said the new timetable meant longer gaps and less time spent at home.

In response Chiltern Railways has said it will freeze season ticket prices from Princes Risborough.

This also means they had to change the level of fare increase for Saunderton and some other stations, including High Wycombe, which were both also reduced to avoid creating anomalies with fares, for example Princes Risborough being cheaper than the other stations.

Rail fares are going up nationally and Chiltern Railways said their average price rise is 3.5 per cent while the national average is 3.9 per cent.

David Palmer, secretary of the North Chiltern Rail Users' Group, said of the price freeze: "It is certainly a step in the right direction and is a recognition that actually the service is significantly poorer now than it was prior to the new timetable."

Commuter Jon Murrell, who is part of The Risborough Rail group, said: "We are quite worried by it, which might sound slightly perverse, but we think it might be because Chiltern Railways aren't willing to sort the service out.

"The only thing they can do to take the heat off is to freeze these prices."

He said they want a better service back rather than a price freeze.

At the same time car park prices have gone up by. An annual parking permit at Risborough is now £1,040. Andrew Pinto, who commutes from Beaconsfield, said he thinks the price increases could have been a lot worse.

But added: "They [Chiltern Railways] have increased the number of trains slightly but they haven't really given us the 20 minute service they claimed we would have after years of disruption."

And he said it seems fair for Risborough commuters to have a price freeze if their service has been reduced.

Thomas Ableman, commercial director of Chiltern Railways: "We received significant feedback from Princes Risborough passengers on the recently introduced timetable. In recognition of the strength of feeling, we have taken the decision to freeze the annual season ticket from Princes Risborough to London for 2013.

"At present, we have no timetable modifications planned from the station as the complexity and timescales of timetable planning means it is not possible to change."

All fares valid from January 2, 2013 can be found by checking the National Rail Enquiries website.

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