Commuters face biggest rail fare rise for a decade from TODAY – just as the network faces being paralysed by repairs over Easter
- The ticket price rise of 5.9 per cent is the biggest increase in more than a decade
- Passengers will see planned journeys impacted over Easter by repairs to network
- Seven of eight lines will be hit by Network Rail projects over four days in April
Rail fares will soar by their biggest amount in more than a decade from today – just as the network faces being paralysed by repairs over Easter.
The price rise of 5.9 per cent is the biggest since the 6.2 per cent increase in 2011.
Meanwhile, fed-up passengers – already bracing themselves for more strikes – will see many of the ten million planned journeys over the holiday weekend affected.
Seven of Britain’s eight main rail lines will be hit by Network Rail projects over the four days from April 7 to 10, and some journey times will treble.
Former Transport Minister Norman Baker, now a spokesman for the Campaign for Better Transport, said: ‘Passengers are already having a tough time with fares increasing and strikes. So Easter engineering works will be more misery for people who want to travel then.
‘A lot of Easter works will take place, and they need to be undertaken. But Network Rail must do the work efficiently and minimise track closures.’
The price rise of 5.9 per cent is the biggest since the 6.2 per cent increase in 2011
One of the worst-ever Easter rail shutdowns will see dozens of planned schemes cost Network Rail tens of millions of pounds, with up to 20,000 engineers expected to be called in.
Britain’s busiest line, the West Coast Main Line, will be completely shut between London Euston and Milton Keynes from Good Friday to Easter Monday. Usually 32 minutes direct, the journey will take more than an hour and a half via a replacement bus service and alternative train route. Trains from Liverpool will terminate at Rugby.
Other works on the line will cause serious delays between Carlisle and Glasgow, and Stafford and Crewe.
The Gatwick Express is scrapped for four days, with London Victoria shut to most trains. No Southeastern services will go from London Charing Cross on April 8 and 9, some lines from London Liverpool Street will close, and the new Elizabeth line will not run through Central London.
Buses will replace trains between Reading and Newbury and Woking and Winchester. Some services from Leeds will be axed and all lines are shut between Peterborough and Norwich, and Cambridge and Ely.
Other routes are braced for knock-on overcrowding, especially Chiltern Railways, whose rural services are likely to be swamped by passengers unable to travel between London and Birmingham on the West Coast Main Line.
Figures from the Government’s Office of Rail and Road show that the equivalent of one in 25 train services was cancelled in the year to February 4, representing the worst-ever reliability in records dating back to 2014.