Commuters lose out on rail fares plan

Commuters still face an above inflation hike in rail fares next January, despite a government promise to tackle rising costs.


Under new plans announced today, the government wants to cap fare increases to inflation plus 3%. Yet this is still double of the rate of inflation and will see some fares go up by 6% in total next January.  The cap will not affect regulated fares, such as season tickets.


Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, has slammed the plans saying that they do nothing to tackle the rising cost of living facing many passengers. As regular train user Andrew has been campaigning for a better deal for rail passengers, including an across the board cap on all fare rises to inflation.


Regulated fares, such as season tickets, are still due to rise by 4.1% on avergae in January meaning a commuter from Milton Keynes Central to Euston will still see the cost of a season ticket due to shoot up by £190. A commuter earning £25,000 will paying 19% of their salary on rail fares by January 2014 when the cost of a Milton Keynes Central-Euston season ticket will go up to £4,809.


Andrew Pakes, Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South said:


“We have some of the busiest commuter trains in the country serving local stations.  Commuters face yet another eye-watering hike in prices at a time when prices are rising faster than wages. Whilst moves to introduce part-time season tickets for people only travelling a couple of days a week, this latest announcement will not affect fares for most passengers.


“Ministers have wasted £48 million on the failed West Coast rail franchise fiasco and this new plan will still allow train companies to raise some fares by up to 6.1 per cent. We need more action to tackle the rising cost of rail travel, including a ban on all fare rises beyond a strict cap, a legal right to the cheapest fare and tough rules on what can count as peak-time travel.”