Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar commuters clobbered by above-inflation rail fare rises

INFLATION-BUSTING rail fare rises have marked a miserable start to the year for hard-pressed commuters.

They lashed the latest annual price increases in Times Territory, all of which are well over the current 4.8 per cent rate of inflation.

Season tickets from WGC went up a whopping 5.9 per cent to �2,500.

And commuters buying season tickets from Hatfield and Potters Bar will be clobbered by six per cent hikes, taking fares to �1,332 and �1,844 respectively.

The rocketing cost of rail travel has left some wondering whether they can still afford to commute to the capital.

WGC student Carleanne O’Donoghue, 20, hit out at the ever-rising cost of train travel.

The Shortlands Green resident told the WHT: “I don’t think they can justify such steep rises, they just go up all the time.

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“They make plenty of money anyway.”

She added: “It just makes life even worse and even more expensive – it really takes its toll on your bank account.”

Hatfield resident Jonathan Morris, whose office is in London, told the WHT: “I now work from home quite a lot and part of the reason for that is the cost.

“I couldn’t really afford to carry on doing it.”

He said soon working in London would be “unaffordable” for all but the best-paid.

“People are going to have to really work out whether they can afford to work in London,” he added.

A spokesman for First Capital Connect said: “In these difficult times, we have minimised price rises across the board to limit the impact of fares increases on our customers.”

He added: “ATOC has announced that national rail fares will rise on average by 5.9 per cent.

“First Capital Connect’s fares from January 2 rose by an average of 5.7 per cent and no fare within FCC’s sole control has risen by more than six per cent.

“Some have not increased at all.

“The prices of Super Off-Peak tickets, that are valid at the weekend, have been frozen to encourage more people to use FCC for leisure travel.”