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|Fare Rises Spell the End for Off-Peak Tickets|
- South West Trains to hike mid-morning prices
RAIL FARE rises on off-peak routes into Waterloo station have provoked an outcry from passenger and environmental groups.
South West Trains will introduce their so-called "Super Off-Peak" ticket on 20 May, when travellers on trains running between 10am and 12 midday face a 3 per cent rise, on top of a general 5.5 per cent increase posted at the start of 2007. Prices of first class tickets on the same Waterloo-bound routes are set to rise by up to 20 per cent.
"These large increases are unjustified," said a spokesperson for Passenger Focus, a campaigning group.
"They have the effect of extending the peak throughout the whole of the morning. This unjustified, unexplained and unfair price hike is exploiting a monopoly market."
Friends of Earth were similarly outraged by the price rises: "These changes will present a major disincentive to making the greener choice to go by rail," said a spokesperson for the environmentalist organisation.
South West Trains argued that the fare hikes match more accurately supply and demand and that some other companies have already adopted a similar pricing strategy.
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