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Passengers slam rail fare increase after £1m north Norfolk platform works

PUBLISHED: 16:28 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:59 29 May 2019

Platform works at Sheringham station are now complete. Pictured, workers installing a new 80-metre platform at Sheringham Railway Station. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Platform works at Sheringham station are now complete. Pictured, workers installing a new 80-metre platform at Sheringham Railway Station. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Archant

A rail firm is facing criticism for increasing fares for passengers to Norwich from a north Norfolk town after its station was closed for almost two months.

Rail fares between Sheringham and Norwich have gone up. Image: Greater AngliaRail fares between Sheringham and Norwich have gone up. Image: Greater Anglia

Passengers travelling from Sheringham to Norwich have seen return ticket prices between the two locations go up by 60p as the station reopened following more than six weeks of platform works.

The price rise is the second fare increase this year and represents a £144 annual increase for those making the daily round trip at off peak times.

And some rail users have hit out at the increase, and said the lack of communication from rail staff "even caught guards and ticket office staff by surprise".

But Greater Anglia (GA) defended the rise, and said the majority of ticket costs, including season tickets were frozen, and that the price increase was not linked to the improvement works at Sheringham station.

The service can only alter prices in January, May and September, under its franchise contract.

Rail user Liam Ford, from Sheringham said: "The fare already increased this year, so this is an inflation beating hike, and comes after the 52 day closure of our station and the truly terrible communication from GA that accompanied that."

Mr Ford, who takes the train to Norwich from Sheringham on four or five days each week, added: "There were no communications about the fare increase and even the guards and ticket office staff were caught by surprise."

And Sonya Fassih asked: "Have the rail fares really just gone up again?

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"My daughter said a single to Norwich from Sheringham with a rail card is £8.00. This cannot be true.

"After spending that huge amount of money on the new concrete plinth, that is our welcome to Sheringham platform.

"I must have misheard this surely."

But not everyone was against the rise, as Angus Reid said: "A Sheringham to Norwich off peak day return with a senior railcard was £5.95 and is now £6.35."

But Mr Reid also said: "The advance price seems the same as before and I upgraded to first class for the price of a coffee which is of course free in first."

A spokesperson for GA said: "We have changed the prices of some of our tickets, although the majority are frozen.

"Some of those fares that have been altered had previously been unchanged for two years.

"Season ticket prices are not affected by this increase.

"We offer a range of great value fares and discount fares such as Groupsave."

Sheringham station reopened on Wednesday, May 22, and the first test visit of a new train took place on Friday, May 24.

Have you been affected by the rise? Email Jessica.Frank-Keyes@archant.co.uk

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