CHILTERN Railways has slashed a controversial 9.2 per cent hike in season tickets following an outcry.

The firm said it cut the increase to six per cent from Banbury and eight per cent from Bicester following public concern.

A 12-month season ticket from Banbury to London Marylebone was to rise from £5,476 to £5,976, it was announced on December 6.

But it revised the rises before new fares came in yesterday and the Banbury season ticket is now £5,800.

The Bicester 12-month season ticket is £5,140 instead of the planned 9.2 per cent increase to £5,196.

First Great Western pressed ahead with a 4.2 per cent increase for Paddington trains from Oxford and Didcot, increasing an annual ticket from £4,348 to £4,532.

Chiltern commercial director Thomas Ableman said: “In recognition of the strength of feeling, we have made changes to the planned increases.”

He said: “We would much prefer not to increase any fares but the funding model for the rail industry is set by Government and we follow this in line with our franchise requirements.”

Cherwell Rail Users’ Group chairman Chris Bates said: “We welcome their reaction to a rip-off pricing increase but it is still two per cent above the Government required 4.2 per cent.”