THE latest increases in rail fares and car parking charges will be hard to swallow for Beaconsfield commuters, says Andy Pinto.
Season tickets from Beaconsfield Station have gone up by about £100 this month, a rise of 3.8 per cent, meaning London commuters now have to fork out £2,840 per year.
The weekday car park charges have also increased by 50p to £6.50 per day.
Though the trains have got slightly quicker, Mr Pinto, who works as a treasurer in the West End, said he has “not really noticed an improvement on three years ago.”
And the 44-year-old says the repeated signal failures and disruption which hit Chiltern Railways in 2011 are still fresh in passengers’ minds (see related links).
He added: “Asking people to pay extra after lowering our expectations and then getting them back up seems a bit rich.”
The Penn resident already gave up parking at the station, preferring to rent a private residential parking space nearby from his mum’s neighbour.
Chiltern Railways defended the increase in fares, pointing out the rise is lower than the 3.9 per cent industry average. The increase in Beaconsfield is higher than the firm’s average increase of 3.5 per cent, however.
Thomas Ableman, Commercial Director of Chiltern Railways said: “We understand that fare increases are hard however, currently the costs of running our train service are not covered by the fares we receive from passengers.
“We have kept our fares as low as we can and our average increase is lower than the industry average.
“In the last three years we have improved the overall journey time for Beaconsfield and we have invested in the car park creating 696 spaces. In addition, we have invested in refurbishing trains and increasing our train fleet, allowing more people to take advantage of our service.”
Average journeys on peak trains between Beaconsfield and Marylebone are about three to four minutes quicker than in 2009.