ORR refuses to investigate complaint about excessive fares

ORR notice (1 page, PDF) that it considers that there is not enough evidence to open an investigation into whether off-peak fares increases by South West Trains are an abuse of a dominant position, despite Passenger Focus' complaint.

ORR notes the interaction with public funding of the railway, but does not rely on it to reject the complaint.

Instead, ORR's stated reason for not investigating is that South West Trains' new fares are “still well below the regulated commuter fare which itself has shown an annual fare rise of less than inflation since 1995”.

ORR will apparently only “take action if the evidence suggests that any individual fare is so unfair that an abuse under competition law has occurred”. Readers are referred to ORR's 2006 briefing paper for details.

Update, 31 May 2007: Passenger Focus press notice saying that it will “challenge ORR's findings”. See Fares increases: can Passenger Focus appeal? | viewpoint: Franck for a comment.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Article 82, ORR, Public transport.

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