Don Foster MP

News

Passengers cannot be expected to pay huge rises in rail fares

Don Foster MP has joined Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport, Julian Huppert to speak out against planned above inflation rail fare rises.

The latest inflation figures set July’s RPI at 3.2 per cent. Liberal Democrats in Government want rail fares to come down in real terms but the Conservative party favours a fare rise of RPI+3% which could lead to a 6.2 per cent rise in regulated rail fares in January.

Commenting, Julian Huppert said:

“After Labour raised fares by a crippling 66 per cent in cash terms between 1997 and 2010, Britain has the most expensive railway network in Europe, up to 30 per cent more than our nearest competitors. Astonishingly, they still want to raise fares above inflation.

“The Coalition is, quite rightly, investing more in our railways than any Government since the Victorian era in an effort to sort out the mess we inherited. But we can’t just pass on the cost to commuters

“Liberal Democrats in the Coalition, along with the Transport Secretary, managed to negotiate a RPI+1% fare rise for 2012, much lower than planned by some Conservatives.

“But people are struggling to make ends meet against a backdrop of wage freezes and rising utility bills. George Osborne has to realise that people cannot be expected to pay huge rises in rail fares on top.”

Don Foster, added:

“I have long argued that rail fares must be made affordable and I remain concerned that this hike in rail fares will affect Bath’s residents. We are already paying too much and it cannot be justified to continually put up our fares above the rate of inflation”.

“The UK rail fares are the highest in the world and the Bath corridor is no exception to that rule. We need to reduce fares in real terms to get more people out of their cars and on to trains”

“Continued fare rises are bad for passengers, bad for the environment and bad for the residents of Bath.”

 

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