Research suggests annual fare increases of 11.8% rather than 7.8%

The annual season ticket for travel between Tonbridge and London Terminals increased from GBP3048 to GBP3408 at the start of January 2011. This is an increase of 11.8%. Such a large increase seems strange when the Tonbridge Line Commuters (TLC) were of the understanding that average fare increases should be 7.8%. TLC have therefore undertaken some research into season ticket fare price increase over the whole South Eastern Trains (SET) network and have written a report available here.

This study looked at the standard season ticket fare increase from 32 SET stations to London. The highest increases were 12.7% from East Kent, and the lowest was 8.1% from Hastings and Strood. The average increase was 11.8%. Similar high increases were seen for 1st class season tickets, travel card season tickets, and High Speed 1 season tickets to London. It was not just season ticket fares to London that increases highly. Typical season ticket increases from Tonbridge to towns other than London increased by 9.4%.

Tonbridge Line Commuters would therefore like to see full transparency in how the fare increases are managed. This would include:

To expedite its wishes, TLC have raised a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department for Transport asking what it believes the figure for the fare increase for SET region was and how this figure was calculated.

The report is available for download here.

A table showing the fare increases from the 32 SET towns is shown below.

The first study examines the standard class non High-Speed 1 London season ticket fare increases for 32 stations served by SET. All major stations served by SET have been examined with the notable exception of Chatham. All prices are in GBP.


Number

Station

Class

Via HS1

Cost 2010

Cost 2011

Increase %

1

Ashford

2

no

3840

4328

12.7

2

Bromley South

2

no

1272

1432

12.6

3

Canterbury West

2

no

3840

4328

12.7

4

Charlton

2

no

760

856

12.6

5

Chartham

2

no

3840

4328

12.7

6

Chelsfield

2

no

1448

1632

12.7

7

Chilham

2

no

3840

4328

12.7

8

Dartford

2

no

1848

2004

8.4

9

Dover Priory

2

no

3880

4376

12.8

10

Dunton Green

2

no

2092

2340

11.9

11

Folkestone Central

2

no

3860

4352

12.7

12

Gillingham

2

no

3068

3324

8.3

13

Grove Park

2

no

1000

1128

12.8

14

Hastings

2

no

3840

4152

8.1

15

Headcorn

2

no

3636

4068

11.9

16

High Brooms

2

no

3272

3660

11.9

17

Hildenborough

2

no

2884

3224

11.8

18

Knockholt

2

no

1448

1632

12.7

19

Lewisham

2

no

580

652

12.4

20

Maidstone East

2

no

3208

3588

11.8

21

Maidstone West

2

no

3208

3588

11.8

22

Marden

2

no

3332

3728

11.9

23

Orpington

2

no

1448

1632

12.7

24

Paddock Wood

2

no

3208

3588

11.8

25

Pluckley

2

no

3696

4132

11.8

26

Ramsgate

2

no

3880

4376

12.8

27

Sevenoaks

2

no

2520

2816

11.7

28

Staplehurst

2

no

3596

4020

11.8

29

Strood

2

no

2904

3140

8.1

30

Tonbridge

2

no

3048

3408

11.8

31

Tunbridge Wells

2

no

3352

3748

11.8

32

Wye

2

no

3840

4328

12.7

Table 1 - London season ticket increases for 32 SET stations: standard class not valid on HS1

The average fare increase of this comprehensive basket of fares is 11.8%. Indeed the minimum rise was 8.1%. There is no evidence of a "weighted basket of fares" averaging 7.8% when looking at this data.