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A fair deal for rail fares

April 15, 2010 7:00 AM
Fair Deal for Fare Payers

It's time to put passengers first. It's time to give fare payers a fair deal!

The Liberal Democrats have made a commitment to restrict increases in rail fares so that they will not increase at above inflation rates, as has been the case in under both Labour and Conservatives governments.

Currently, regulated train fares are allowed to increase above inflation (RPI+1) every year. The Lib Dem plans would change this to RPI-1, so that fares come down in real terms every year.

This would be achieved by offering train companies extensions on their existing franchises in exchange for cutting fares and by making it a pre-condition of any new franchise agreements. Where a franchise cannot be extended, the companies will be compensated for cutting fares.

The plans also include refunding passengers a third of the price of their ticket if they are forced to take a rail replacement bus at any point of their journey.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said: "Passengers crammed onto commuter trains have been forced to pay inflation-busting fares year after year while train companies rake in multi-million pound profits."

"It's time for passengers to come first. The Liberal Democrats are the only party offering a fair deal for passengers."

Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary, Norman Baker added: "It is time the Government stopped this train fares escalator that is so unfair on passengers."

"Labour has deliberately pushed up rail fares above inflation while the cost of driving and flying has come down. This shows their commitment to the environment is only skin deep".

"It is time to give a fair deal to fare payers."