Increase in rail fares is condemned by Fair Fares Now

COMMUTERS in the South East can find out how much extra they will have to fork out for their season tickets next year after the latest retail price index (RPI) inflation figure was released on Tuesday.

The Government announced in the Spending Review that regulated fares will increase by inflation plus 3 per cent for three years from 2012 with July’s retail price index inflation figure used to calculate the following January’s rise.

This week’s announcement from the Office of National Statistics means regulated fares will increase by 8 per cent in January, making them 28 per cent higher by 2015.

To coincide with the announcement the Fair Fares Now campaign staged a demonstration at London’s Waterloo Station on Tuesday.

Demonstrators also listened to the concerns of Shadow Transport Secretary, Maria Eagle.

Fair Fares Now is a national campaign from sustainable transport charity Campaign for Better Transport. Alexandra Woodsworth, Campaign for Better Transport’s public transport campaigner, said: “These punitive fare rises deal a fresh blow to commuters already facing the financial crunch of rising costs combined with frozen wages.

“We need affordable rail travel, not only to give passengers a fair deal, but to protect the economic health of our major cities, and to address the urgent imperative to cut carbon emissions.

“Today’s demonstration sent a clear message to Government that the country simply can’t afford fare rises on such a massive scale. It’s time to burst the bubble on inflation-busting fare hikes.”

Fair Fares Now has launched an online petition which calls on the Government to reverse its above-inflation fare hikes. Go to www.fairfaresnow.org.uk/petition