TRAIN fares in Essex have been hiked by almost five per cent as part of a national increase.

Essex rail operators Greater Anglia and c2c increased fares by 4.9 per cent on Sunday.

Despite the national increase, many fares between c2c stations in Transport for London’s zones one to six have been frozen.

Fares from stations being added to the operator’s wider contactless pay as you go area will see a small additional increase above the 4.9 per cent.

Echo: Fares have increased on c2c and Greater AngliaFares have increased on c2c and Greater Anglia (Image: Archant)

This affects tickets from Shoebury, Thorpe Bay, Southend East, Southend Central, Westcliff, Chalkwell, Leigh, Benfleet, Pitsea, Basildon, West Horndon, Laindon, Stanford-le-Hope, East Tilbury, and Tilbury Town stations.

Passengers 'angry' over fare increases

The hike in rail fairs is despite train cancellations being among the highest levels for ten years.

Public transport campaigners claimed passengers are being “punished” and will be “angry” at the changes.

The equivalent of 3.9 per cent of services in England and Wales were cancelled in the year to February 3, analysis of Office of Rail and Road (ORR) figures shows.

That is narrowly below the worst performance of 4.1 per cent in records dating back to 2014.

Reliability has been hit by several factors in recent months, including strikes, infrastructure faults, and severe weather.

Chris Page, who chairs the pressure group Railfuture, said: “Why are rail passengers being punished year after year with inflation-busting fare rises?

“No matter that there’s a cost-of-living crisis, no matter that we’re facing a climate emergency, the government seems more determined than ever to price us off the railway and on to the roads.”

Rail minister Huw Merriman said last month that the UK Government had attempted to “split the balance between the UK taxpayer and the fare payer” in relation to fare rises, which he described as being “well below inflation”.