Half of rail fares to be frozen

Berwick-upon-Tweed train station.
Berwick-upon-Tweed train station.

East Coast will freeze more than half of its fares for journeys to and from London from Thursday, January 2.

Fares on 43% of all journeys made by East Coast customers will be frozen next month, with fares on tickets booked in advance frozen for 64% of all journeys.

There will be an overall average increase in fares of 1.21% - which represents a real terms cut in the cost of a rail ticket.

This includes an average increase of 0.83% on unregulated fares, which East Coast has complete control over, and an average increase of 3.1% on regulated fares.

It follows the announcement by the Government, in its Autumn Statement earlier this month, that regulated fares will rise across the rail industry by 3.1% from 2 January 2014, a lower increase than the 4.1% previously due to take effect.

The move by East Coast is a commercial decision to encourage further passenger growth, maximise revenue and market share while helping customers.

East Coast managing director Karen Boswell said: “We’re freezing fares to help our customers and encourage more people to travel with us. This will help us to continue to grow our business, and to give back even more to the taxpayer.

“This is a straight forward commercial decision which is very good news for our customers and businesses across our route. It will also help East Coast to sustain our strong advantage in a highly competitive travel market.

“When you take into account the rate of inflation, today’s announcement represents a genuine real terms cut in our overall fares.

“We believe this will attract more people to our trains, and help to maximise revenue.

“It will also help businesses and hard-working people by holding down the cost of travel for many. As one of the leading long-distance train operators, we’re doing our bit to help businesses grow, and that has to be welcome news for jobs and investment in the regions we serve throughout Britain.”