Rail fare rises 'daylight robbery'


First Capital Connect was branded the 'greediest' rail operator in the UK

A rail firm has been accused of “daylight robbery” after a union said it had discovered some of its fares were going up by as much as 46% in the New Year.

First Capital Connect (FCC) was branded the “greediest” rail operator in the UK because of its new fares from next month, as well as higher car parking charges at stations.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) accused the Government of giving rail firms a “licence to print money” and called on ministers to intervene.

The union said changes to the price of monthly season tickets from January on some FCC routes included: Hornsey to Stevenage. Current flexitime ticket £194.40, rising to £284.20, an increase 46.2%.

Hornsey to Welwyn Garden City, £135.20 to £188.20, a rise of 39.2%. New Barnet to Welwyn Garden City, £97.20 to £135.20, up 38.7%.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) announced last month that across the country fares will go up by an average 6.2%, although London commuters face higher rises.

Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the TSSA, said some fare rises on FCC will be 14 times more than the current 3.2% inflation rate.

The union added that FCC has told all commuters using flexi season tickets travelling away from the capital to work that they will be scrapped from January 2.

Flexi season tickets are sold to commuters travelling away from London in the morning as long as they were used after mid-day for the return journey.

TSSA said that on top of higher season tickets, FCC commuters also faced an average 8% rise in car parking charges.

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