Rail Fares to Triple as Saver Tickets Face Axe

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Byline: JUSTIN DAVENPORT

RAIL travellers face huge fare increases under government moves to scrap cheap saver tickets, it was claimed today.

Passengers could be forced to pay standard fares even if they travel off-peak.

That could double the cost of travelling on some of the most busy and popular lines, with the rises in other cases being even higher.

A saver return from London to Birmingham currently costs as little as [pounds sterling]26.

The standard open return fare is four times as BY JOE MURPHY Political Editor high - [pounds sterling]108. A journey from the capital to Manchester and back costs as little as [pounds sterling]57.10. A full price return is [pounds sterling]202.

Ministers want to give private train operators greater freedom to set their own ticket prices, according to reports.

It was said that the train companies had convinced the Government that they could attract more passengers and require less subsidy if they could set their own fare deals.

But that would mean abolishing rules that were introduced by the Conservatives at the point of privatisation that put a ceiling on the cost of saver fares. Savers are currently capped at just over the inflation rate, and have been frozen in real terms over the past decade while standard fares have risen fourfold.

Some 50 million journeys were made on saver tickets last year. …