Labour accuse ministers of 'failing commuters' over fresh rail fare hike from next year

Posted On: 
14th August 2019

Labour has condemned the Government's handling of Britain’s train services after it was confirmed that rail fares will jump by up to 2.8% from January.

Commuters face a hike in fares from January
PA Images

The latest increase, set by the July RPI inflation figure published by the Office for National Statistics, will add more than £100 to many annual season tickets.

Labour analysis found that the average commuter will pay over £3,000 for their season ticket, amounting to £870 or 40% more than in 2010 when the Tories came to power.

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The highest increase is projected to be on a season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston, which will have gone up by £3,188 since 2010 to £11,205.

Average fares have risen nearly three times faster than wages in the same period, they add.

Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald, said: “Every year, commuters are being asked to pay more money for bad train services.

“The government has sat back and allowed private train companies to cash in while people’s pay has been held back.

“Continuous fare rises undermine urgent action to tackle the climate emergency by pricing people off the railways.

“Labour will bring our railways into public ownership so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.”

TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “The last thing UK commuters need is another hefty fare increase.

“We’re already paying the highest ticket prices in Europe to travel on overcrowded and understaffed trains.”

Labour added that those who travel from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ constituency of Hatfield to London Kings Cross, face paying £819 more than in 2010.

Mr Shapps told the BBC’s Today programme earlier: “I'm not delighted by it to be perfectly honest, as a train commuter.

“The truth is we do now have a situation where average wages are going up faster than inflation, so if you don't keep this tracking with inflation you are actually effectively putting less money into transport and less money into trains and you won't get them running on time doing that either.”