Higher train fares

PUBLISHED: 10:53 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 07:04 30 May 2010

I WAS amused at your report (August 7) that National Express reported a dip in passenger numbers and that there had been a softening in demand on their Stansted Express service.  You also mention that Ryanair/easyJet would be reducing flights – that i

I WAS amused at your report (August 7) that National Express reported a 'dip in passenger numbers' and that there had been a 'softening in demand' on their Stansted Express service.

You also mention that Ryanair/easyJet would be reducing flights - that is in the future and will add to the reduction in numbers travelling on this 'service.'

The real reason for the dip in passenger numbers is that NE introduced a new fare structure on May 18. I have been in correspondence with them since that date to clarify the situation, as the staff at Stansted station had a different interpretation of the new fares structure to the Head Office of NE, and to the website.

After two months of conflicting advice I can confirm that NE 'sneaked in' a considerable increase in fares, without any publicity, by eliminating cheap returns to London. They have now confirmed that this was done because they consider it a premium service (what a laugh) and that 'only time will tell whether this is the correct decision' - their words not mine!

Commuters - use Bishop's Stortford or Harlow, they still have 'cheap' returns and you may still catch the Stansted Express as it stops at these stations! What a way to run a business.

Brian Clifton, Cuckoos, Great Canfield

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