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Protesters gather outside Norwich Station after train fares rise

PUBLISHED: 17:56 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 19:09 02 January 2018

The protest about the increase in train fares at the Norwich Railway Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The protest about the increase in train fares at the Norwich Railway Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Protesters held a demonstration at Norwich Station this morning after average rail ticket prices rose by 3.4pc, making it the biggest increase to fares since 2013.

Passenger Jessica Jennings gives her opinion on the increase in train fares at the Norwich Railway Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPassenger Jessica Jennings gives her opinion on the increase in train fares at the Norwich Railway Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Nationally, fares are now 50pc higher than they were 10 years ago. The move means that an Ipswich to Norwich return has risen to £18.20 from £17.60, while a Lowestoft to Norwich return has risen from £11.20 to £11.60.

Rail passenger Jessica Jennings, 47 from Halvergate, said: “I don’t massively use the trains, maybe around once every three weeks. I weigh up the pros and cons of driving and getting the train, at the moment the train works out cheaper for me than the cost of petrol and parking. For now, rail is working out more cost efficient and it’s cheaper to pay the fare.

“The train is more relaxing too. However, if it rises even more, I’ll probably have no choice but to drive.”

Carol Cross, 75 from Aylsham, said: “I’m not a regular rail user, I use them but probably only a few times a year. My husband works for the trains, so I get everything quarter fare.

Passenger Carol Cross gives her opinion on the increase in train fares at the Norwich Railway Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPassenger Carol Cross gives her opinion on the increase in train fares at the Norwich Railway Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“I’ve not got anything bad to say, every time I use them they are on time and clean. I do feel for other train users who use them on a regular basis.”

Dave Welsh, from NOR4NOR, said: “We’re at Norwich Station to protest to the annual fares increase. It’s making it difficult for people to use public transport railways in a way which we already know that many people can’t afford to use the railways anymore.”

A spokesperson for Greater Anglia, said: “Our average fare increase is 3.4pc, however, we’re freezing our advanced fares, which start from just £5 and can be up to 60 to 70pc lower than walk-up fares.

“The 3.4pc increase applies to Government related fares, such as season tickets and anytime singles and returns. We need to apply this increase, as many of our costs will also increase in line with inflation.

John Sillett at the protest about the increase in train fares at the Norwich Railway Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJohn Sillett at the protest about the increase in train fares at the Norwich Railway Station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We are spending £1.4 billion on brand new trains to replace every single train on our network.”

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