Like many rail commuters in Hampshire, I am crestfallen at South Western Railways’s radically increased costs for advance tickets which has come into effect this week.

From March 1 the cost of an Advance return (booked three weeks in advance) on my usual service has jumped from £29.50 to £47 per day. This amounts to a staggering real-life 60 per cent increase, rather than the five per cent that South Western advertised.

While I've no doubt rail firms will explain this is a requirement as they adjust their business model to the post-covid world, with delays, track failures, short trains and strike action this comes as a real hit to the morale of commuters who already face prices per mile three times that of the average across Europe, and some of the fastest rail fare inflation anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, I was delighted for shareholders of FirstGroup, which owns the majority of South Western, which recently posted profits of £82.1m, and has grown 40 per cent since the start of the calendar year.

Nick Edmonds

Ringbourne Copse,

Barton Stacey


Editors Note: Prices quoted are based on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday:

Micheldever to Waterloo (7.33am)

Waterloo to Micheldever (5.09pm)

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