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MP hits out at ‘regressive’ and ‘unfair’ rail fare hikes
5:00am Friday 7th September 2012 in News
A HAMPSHIRE MP is calling on the Government to halt next year’s huge planned rise in rail fares.
Alan Whitehead , pictured, Labour ’s representative for Southampton Test , believes increases of up to 11 per cent on some routes are “regressive” and punish people with no choice but to commute to work.
As reported, season tickets from Southampton to London Waterloo are set to rise to more than £5,000 for the first time in January, because of the Government’s scheme of allowing rates to go up by three per cent above inflation.
On average, Hampshire rail passengers will have to pay 6.2 per cent more for train travel next year.
Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs this week voted down a Labour Party motion calling for ministers to restore the one per cent above inflation cap on annual fare rises and ban train operators from increasing fares beyond this strict limit.
Dr Whitehead said: “Travelling to work on the train is a non-negotiable part of life for a growing number of people in Southampton.
“The decision by the Tories to allow hikes in rail fares of up to 11 per cent every year shows to just what extent they have caved in to the private rail operators. It’s unfair, it’s regressive and it punishes the wrong people.”