Reaction to train fare hikes

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A TRAIN campaigner has likened commuters’ monthly rail fares to London to the cost a second mortgage following the announcement of a 6.2 per cent increase.

The increases are around double the rate of inflation and will come in to effect from January 2013.

The extra money is helping to fund huge investment across the country’s rail network.

Belinda Fordham, an Eastbourne resident from the East Sussex Rail Alliance (ESRA), said, “ESRA is absolutely astounded by the Government’s announcement this week to increase rail fares by what amounts to more than six per cent.

“This means that the price of a monthly season ticket from Eastbourne to London will rise to between £420 to £480 per month. This is the equivalent of monthly repayments on a £100,000 mortgage.

“In times, when employment in Sussex is scarce, and people are having to travel further afield to work, such inflation busting increases have a major impact on household budgets and the local economy.

“Passengers should not be subsidising rail infrastructure improvements, whilst rail companies are making excessive profits and successive Government’s have failed to invest for the longer term.”

Peter Skinner, the Labour MEP for the Eastbourne area, said, many would find their daily commute is now their biggest household bill. He added, “These inflation busting increases cannot be justified as families struggle to stay above the bread line.”

Passengers have not yet been told how prices will change on their specific routes but the recently released figures set a template for price increase.

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