Polegate MP ‘appalled’ by rise in rail fares

Maria Caulfield has responded to news of rail fare increases SUS-160512-082557001
Maria Caulfield has responded to news of rail fare increases SUS-160512-082557001

Polegate MP Maria Caulfield has said she is “appalled” by the proposed increase in rail fares.

This was a response to the news on Friday (December 2) that rail fires will increase by an average of 2.3 per cent from January 2.

But Mrs Caulfield also said she welcomed the recent announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport confirming details for a compensation package for rail users on the Southern Network.

In the statement, The Department for Transport laid out plans that will see the introduction of a one-off compensation payment to season ticket holders, with annual season ticket holders due to receive a payment equivalent to one month’s travel.

Meanwhile, those that purchased quarterly, monthly and weekly season tickets will be able to claim an equivalent payment.

At the same time, rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway announced that it will be introducing a more generous Delay Repay scheme for Southern and Gatwick Express passengers from the December 11, which would compensate passengers for delays of more than 15 minutes, in place of the current 30 minutes.

The MP said, “Although these moves are welcome progress, I am appalled by the proposed increase in rail fares.

“These announcements won’t stop me in my tracks. I remain fully committed to finding a resolution to this whole sorry saga once and for all, and as such I shall continue to put pressure on the Government to freeze rail fares for those using the Southern Network meanwhile pushing for Government intervention.”

Meanwhile, the ASLEF union, which represents train drivers, has called the price rise “scandalous” especially for Southern which it says “lets down passengers every day”.

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