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August 17, 2010 6:24 PM
Ticket Office at London Victoria Train Station

Ticket office at Victoria train station

Responding to the news that passenger rail fares may rise by up to 8% next year, Serena Tierney, Lib Dem Parliamentary Campaigner for Mid Sussex said:

" These would be the biggest rises since privatisation. For many people, they would cause real hardship. At present, if you earn less than £45,000 a year, you pay more than one-tenth of your take-home pay in rail fares. You would have to earn £50,000 - and £60,000 if you need a travelcard so that you can use the tube or bus to get to your place of work.

"In Mid Sussex, the average salary for full-time workers is less than £30,000. While that is well above the national average of £25,000, it would still mean paying nearly one-fifth of your take-home pay in travel costs. Many people currently have salary freezes or even cuts to keep their jobs. They simply cannot afford huge hikes in their rail fares."

Calling on the train companies to exercise restraint, she said:

"High housing costs, rising food prices and frozen salaries are already making it difficult for many to make ends meet. The rail companies should not make life more difficult for them and their families by introducing above-inflation increases at this time."