GWENT politicians have hit out at rail fare increases which mean some popular commuting routes are 25 per cent more expensive than they were in 2010.
Earlier this month an average 1.1 per cent increase in train tickets came into effect across England, Wales and Scotland.
It is the smallest rise in six years but new figures show cumulatively train ticket prices have risen by 25 per cent since 2010.
A season ticket from Newport to Bristol Temple Meads cost £1,960 in 2010 but now costs £2,484 – a mammoth jump of £524, or 27 per cent.
Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, criticised the UK government for the hike in ticket prices for Newport’s train passengers.
She said: “The UK government have overseen a substantial increase in the cost of train tickets for Newport’s train passengers, especially commuters.
“People are paying more and more to get to work since the Tories came to power, which is eating into the take home pay of my constituents.
“What makes it worse is that many of my constituents are not experiencing an improvement in service. Residents have told me that their trains were at times heavily overcrowded, with some people standing up for the entire time of their journey.
“The cost and the level of service some people are putting up with is simply not acceptable and it's something I will continue to pursue with FGW.”
John Griffiths, AM for Newport East, said it shows a “lack of joined up thinking” by the government.
He said: “Everybody talks about the need to have an integrated transport system and the need to get people out of the car and onto public transport.
“We know in Newport how true that is in terms of congestion on the M4. To get more people travelling by train will help these congestion issues.
“But in order to get that change we need to make public transport more affordable. We need to make it a cheaper option really than travelling by car.”
Jayne Bryant, assembly member candidate for Newport West, added: “These rises are hard to stomach.
“In recent years rail fares have risen three times the rate of real wages. Botched privatisation has left us with inflated ticket prices, overcrowded trains and an ageing infrastructure.”
Bruce Williamson, of independent campaign group Railfuture, said: “Britain’s rail prices are becoming increasingly divorced from reality.
“These price rises will further increase the gap between our rail fares and those on the continent, making us easily the most expensive place to travel by rail.”
The Department for Transport was asked for a comment but did not deliver one before the Argus went to print.