As millions return to work today, the January blues will not have been eased by a hike in the cost of commutes for many.
Rail fares have increased across the UK, but what does this mean for passengers in Chester?
Merseytravel’s Trio, Railpass, Saveaways sold at railway stations and Term Time and Annual Solos have risen, along with bus journeys subsidised by Merseytravel.
Trio tickets are season tickets for the buses, trains and Mersey Ferries, while Railpasses can be weekly, monthly or annual, and Saveaways are cheaper, one day tickets that you can use to travel on buses, trains and ferries in Merseyside at off-peak times.
Merseytravel ‘supported bus fares’ are due to go up from £1.50 to £1.70 for adults and 70p to 80p for child tickets – which mainly affects schoolchildren and people travelling to hospital.
Supported bus routes are identified with an ‘M’ symbol above them on timetables and make up about 15% of Merseyside bus routes.
Decision not taken lightly
A spokesperson for Merseytravel said the decision to increase fares is ‘not taken lightly’ and claimed the new prices are one of the smallest fare increases in the UK this year.
On average, rail fares in the UK will rise by 1.1% this year, which the Rail Delivery Group says is the ‘smallest annual increase for six years’.
The Merseytravel spokesperson added: “Almost 80% of the increases are in line with 1% RPI which will help ensure prices are still inclusive and are affordable.
“Some prices, such as some of the Saveaway tickets, have been frozen and some young peoples’ tickets have been reduced in price.
“We are also introducing a new Young Person’s Monthly Railpass from January 2 which reflects our commitment to supporting young people as they rely upon public transport, not only to get to education and employment, but also for leisure and social opportunities.
“In terms of supported bus services, without our investment many of these wouldn’t run as they aren’t commercially viable and we remain committed to setting fares which are considered to be fair and to be at an affordable level for passengers.
'Still offer good value for money'
“We still believe that even with this increase we still offer good value for money particularly when compared with higher commercial fares.”
“Merseytravel remains committed to looking at what can be done to still be able to offer customers value for money and new products that will be of benefit to them.”
Research by Action for Rail, which campaigns for the renationalisation of the railways, reveals that rail passengers in Britain pay up to six times more of their salary on fares than their European counterparts.
Have you seen an increase in the cost of your journeys? Let us know in the comments below.