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“Freeze the Fares” say Mid Sussex Liberal Democrats

August 16, 2018 9:08 PM
In Mid Sussex Times

Thameslink Train at Burgess Hill Station with Robert Eggleston, PPC for Mid SussexMid Sussex Liberal Democrats are calling upon the government to halt the decision to increase regulated fares in January 2019 by an average of 3.2% and freeze them at their current level.

Robert Eggleston, Lib Dem PPC for Mid Sussex, said:

"A 3.2% increase in rail fares on top of last year's inflation busting rise of 3.6% on average will be a further bitter blow for passengers in Mid Sussex. They have had to put up with the botched introduction of the new rail timetable, routine cancellations, persistent delays and often overcrowded trains for too long. The government should be giving them a refund not expecting them to pay more.

By contrast the government has chosen to freeze all increases in fuel duty for the last 8 years so there is no reason why it cannot stop the planned increase in rail fares for 2019 and give passengers a bit of relief from the spiral of ever increasing fares.

At the same time that the government is going to hike up fares again, commuters and other rail users are seeing their living standards being squeezed and this cannot continue.

We urgently need to rebalance the cost of investing in our railways so that it does not continually fall more onto the shoulders of rail passengers in general and commuters in particular who have no real choice but to travel to work by train.

We should also consider whether commuters should receive some form of tax relief which they can set against the cost of their rail fares in order to reduce the burden on them."