Rail fares should be frozen for Southern passengers - Lewes councillors

Rail passengers in Sussex are advised to check their journey before they travel today (Saturday, December 1)
Rail passengers in Sussex are advised to check their journey before they travel today (Saturday, December 1)

Lewes District Council is to lobby for a rail fare freeze after a motion won the unanimous support of councillors this week.

The decision was taken at a full council meeting on Monday (November 26) in response to a motion put forward by Kingston councillor Vic Ient (Lib Dem).

Cllr Ient’s motion called on the council to write to government and request that regulated train fare increases should be frozen in light of the road fuel duty freeze and the scheduled rail fare increases for 2019 be shelved.

These fares are set to rise by 3.1 per cent from January 2, the Rail Delivery Group officially announced this week.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Ient said: “I’m really pleased that I had unanimous support for this motion. It’s grossly unfair of the government to continue to push up rail fares when they have frozen fuel duty for road vehicles over the last seven years

“Why should the hard-pressed rail commuters, who have suffered dreadful service over the last three years or more, have to pay more whereas car drivers have effectively had a reduction in their travelling costs?”

The motion won unanimous support at Monday’s meeting, with council leader Andy Smith speaking  in its support.

Cllr Smith (Con. –  East Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs) said: “We totally support this motion. It is absolutely ludicrous that we have frozen fuel duty and at the same time keep putting up rail fares by RPI.

“We will be very much in support of this and will be writing to the minister.”