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A “kick in the teeth” for rail passengers

December 3, 2019 5:30 PM

Steve Gee and a local commuter outside Epsom station

Steve Gee and a local commuter outside Epsom station

The 2.7% rise in rail fares from January 1st 2020 is a "kick in the teeth" for rail passengers, who are already paying over the odds for a shoddy service with overcrowded, delayed or cancelled trains.

This increase will leave commuters from all 8 local stations paying much more for their season tickets. Only the Conservatives think it is the right policy to put rail fares up now. Under Lib Dem plans, the 2020 increase would be cancelled and commuter rail fares would be frozen for the next five years, while we sort out the mess in rail franchises.

The Lib Dems would also introduce season tickets for part-time commuters and cheap early-bird fares. They would also overhaul ticketing by simplifying the system and ensure that all rail franchises pay compensation for delays of 15 minutes or more.

For too long the Conservatives have neglected our rail infrastructure and allowed commuters to be treated like cash cows. They have done nothing to fix the problems across the network. Under Chris Grayling as Transport Minister they made things far worse with the botched timetable changes last year that caused chaos across the country.

The Lib Dems will build a brighter future, not only by freezing rail fares, but also by making sure our creaking rail network receives the investment it needs to reduce overcrowding by improving capacity and increasing the number of trains running at peak times.