I’ve now checked out what the fare increases will mean for Thanet commuters in 2017. An annual season ticket on HS1 from Ramsgate to Canterbury increases by £24, or 1.7%, from £1,432 per year to £1,456. An annual season ticket from Ramsgate to Ashford increases by £40, or 1.9%, from £2,148 per year to £2,188. An annual season ticket from Ramsgate to London St Pancras without a bus and tube travel card increases by £116, or 1.8%, from £6,204 per year to £6,320.Not only are our rail fares are amongst the highest in Europe, but the ticketing system is also one of the most inflexible. “Why must part-time, or home-based workers who travel to up to Ashford or London just 2 or 3 days per week, be forced to pay for a seven day per week ticket when they don’t need it? I fully support the Campaign for Better Transport who are lobbying the Government to introduce legislation to force the train operators to offer flexible season tickets, like many European countries have been doing for a long time.
I believe that there is now an overwhelming case to re-nationalise the railways and reinvest the massive profits made by the train operating companies into improving our run down and expensive railways and to provide a modern, joined-up network which offers flexible and affordable tickets.