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East Midlands Trains today (23 November) announced that the average fare on its network is to rise by less than the UK average.
Passengers using East Midlands Trains services will pay on average just 66p more for their journey. Industry figures show that 97p of every pound from ticket income in the UK goes towards the costs of running today’s railway**. East Midlands Trains is the most punctual long-distance rail operator in the UK and around 75% of passengers already travel on discounted tickets. Customers are also benefiting from a £40m programme of station and train fleet investments.
The new fare levels are the result of a change in Government policy in recent years, which has looked to sustain rail investment by cutting the amount that taxpayers contribute and requiring passengers to pay more.
Rail fares in the UK are to rise by an average of 6.2% in the New Year, while the equivalent figure for East Midlands Trains is 5.6%.
The retail price index (RPI) inflation rate in July each year is used as the benchmark for the Government’s approach for the setting of fares. The figure in July 2010 was 4.8%. East Midlands Trains fares will rise by an average of 0.8% above the July 2010 RPI figure.
East Midlands Trains’ new rail fares package, effective from 2 January 2011, will incorporate a range of value-for-money initiatives, including:
Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said: “We recognise that times continue to be tough for our customers. Our new fares levels from January reflect our commitment to offering a range of value ticket prices to our customers.
“On average, our passengers will pay just 66p more for their journey, while continuing to benefit from a multi-million pound investment programme that will deliver better trains and improved stations.
“Three quarters of our passengers travel on a discounted ticket and 97p of every pound customers spend on their ticket in the UK goes towards covering the costs of running today’s railway. We will continue to offer a range of value-for-money fares to suit all pockets as more people are attracted to our trains.”
East Midlands Trains passengers are continuing to benefit from improved punctuality and ongoing investment. More than £30 million is currently being invested to improve the entire train fleet, and the company is well underway with a £10 million programme of station improvements.
Customer satisfaction with East Midlands Trains remains high. The most recent independent National Passenger Survey showed that 86% of passengers are satisfied with their train service. It also reported a 7% increase in the number of passengers who said their ticket represented value for money.
Meanwhile, East Midlands Trains is advising passengers to ‘save the date’ for its next two Red Dot Days, which will be held at Sheffield on Wednesday 29 December and Nottingham on Thursday 30 December.
More than 13,000 passengers have travelled on one of the popular Red Dot Days, which offer return travel to London for a bargain £15 for adults and just £5 for children, and many people have used the tickets to give the train a try for the first time.
For further details on East Midlands Trains or to look for a bargain ticket using the Best Fare Finder Tool, visit www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk.