MP welcomes decision to spare commuters from huge hike in rail fares

30 November, 2011 No Comments

November 29, 2011

A decision to spare Cambridge commuters from a massive hike in their season tickets has been welcomed by MP Julian Huppert.

The government has decided not to push ahead with a rise in rail fares of three per cent above inflation which would have meant an eight per cent increase on season tickets for city commuters. Instead, travellers will face an increase of one per cent above inflation for the coming year.

The news is due to be announced today (Tuesday, November 29) in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Julian, Co-Chair of the Lib Dem Transport Committee said: “This will be a huge relief for the thousands of commuters who have to travel from the city into London every day to get to work.

“But, although an increase in fares of one per cent above inflation is better than we expected it needs to be better. Rail fares are already too high. Commuters are paying dearly for an overcrowded service which is too often unreliable.

“I have been pushing the government, in my role on the transport committee, to bring fares down so that we don’t penalise the very people on whom we rely to get our economy back on its feet. I am determined that people will not have to take what is effectively a pay cut just to get to their places of work.”

Julian has been calling for efficiency savings, of £1 billion a year until 2019 which were identified in Lord McNulty’s review of the railways, to be handed back to commuters in lower fares and to be used for rail improvements. But he feared the money would go back into the Treasury.

Transport Minister Philip Hammond indicated that commuters would be facing inflation-busting increases for the next three years in a response to a question from Julian back in May. 

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