Prospect of steep rail fare rises follows failure of Labour bid to limit increase to 4.2% instead of average 6.2%.

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Rail passengers will face seven more years of inflation-busting fare increases under Coalition plans, according to the TSSA.

It follows a Government victory in the Commons over a Labour bid to limit next January’s fare rise to 4.2% instead of the average 6.2%.

TSSA general secretary, Manuel Cortes accused the newly-appointed Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin of ‘peddling false dreams’ when he said ministers would end the formula ‘as soon as we can’ which allows train operators to increase fares above the rate of inflation.

“We may have a new Transport Secretary but it is the same old line on fares, jam sometime in a far way future but none whatsoever for today.

“Not only did he confirm that fares will rise again by RPI plus 3% in 2014 and RPI plus 1% in 2015 but made it clear that passengers will have to fund the vast bulk of the Government’s £9 billion rail investment between 2014 and 2019.

“And the small print of its own response to McNulty makes it clear that these cost of living plus increases will continue until the ‘impact of cost saving measures’ are achieved by 2019.”

Manuel Cortes was referring to sections of the Coalition’s reply to the report compiled by the government’s rail advisor, Sir Roy McNulty, on the future of the UK rail industry.

“So when he [Patrick McLoughlin] promises the dream of fares rising less than inflation, it is merely a dream.

“And given the fact that Tory Transport Secretaries are like London buses, there is always another one just around the corner, he won’t be around to explain why his policy has failed.

“He pointed out that rail fares will have increased by 25% between 2010 and 2015 under the Coalition.

“Despite his Commons insistence that the full 6.2% increase will happen in January, Mr McLoughlin will come under increasing pressure during the forthcoming Corby by-election to reduce it to avoid a Coalition disaster at the polls.”


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