Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has reacted with shock to news confirmed by the government that average rail fares will increase by up to 3.2% in January, with the cost of some season tickets set to rise by hundreds of pounds.

Confirmation of the maximum average rise in 2019’s regulated fares came with the publication of July’s inflation figures by the Office of National Statistics. Regulated fares, which include season tickets and off-peak returns, are capped at the level of RPI inflation – a measure that is not habitually used and is higher than CPI.

To coincide with confirmation of the 3.2% train fares hike, Labour has compared the costs on over 180 train routes between when the Conservatives came to power in 2010, and the projected new prices that will be implemented this January 2019. The average commuter will now be paying £2,980 for their season ticket, £786 more than in 2010.

New figures released today by Labour show:

  • That some commuters will be paying over £2,850 more to travel to work than in 2010.
  • The highest increase was on a Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston which will have risen by £2,874 since 2010 and now costs £10,902.
  • The biggest percentage increase identified was between Thame Bridge Parkway near Walsall and Nuneaton, where the cost of an annual season ticket will have risen by 54 per cent since 2010.
  • In Theresa May’s own constituency the cost of an annual season ticket from Maidenhead to London Paddington has risen by £831 since 2010.
  • Average fares have risen more than three times faster than wages.

The amount by which train companies can raise regulated fares is the responsibility of the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. He has the power to enforce this but he’s choosing not to, instead only writing a “pathetic” letter to the trade unions unfairly asking rail staff to accept a pay cap.

Labour has committed to keeping fares down and pegged to no more than a rise of CPI. Labour has also called on the Government to freeze rail fares on the routes most severely affected by the timetable changes – Govia Thameslink, Arriva Rail North and First Transpennine Express.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“Our railways need serious reform, and a government committed to sustainable investment, not a plea to train companies.

 

“Sadly Ministers are persisting with a failed model that is punishing passengers and taxpayers. Instead, Labour would use money saved from bringing passenger services into public ownership to cap regulated fare rises at the Consumer Price Index.”

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