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Stop This Annual Fares Persecution of Rail Passengers

19 August 2014

Now Labour Must Pledge To Freeze Fares

Tory Ministers must stop the annual rail fares "persecution" of millions of rail passengers with inflation busting increases, the TSSA rail union said today.

"It is an absurd political myth that fares have to rise above inflation every year to pay for new lines," said union general secretary Manuel Cortes.

"Passengers pay 60% towards the cost of running our railways as it is, £7 billion a year. No government asks motorists to pay 60% towards building new roads or airline passengers 60% towards building new airports.

"It is high time to stop this annual persecution of rail passengers, especially as fares will have jumped by over 20 per cent under this Coalition since May 2010."

He called on Ed Miliband to make a manifesto commitment to freeze fares and take immediate action if he wins the keys to Number Ten next May.

"There is no law of economics that says that rail fares have to go up by inflation every year, the price of a loaf or a pint of milk doesn't.

"We welcome Ed's pledge to cap fares but we want him to go one step further and actually freeze them. After years of being ripped off, passengers will deserve a break which they will get from an incoming Labour government."

The rail unions are worried that shadow transport spokesperson Mary Creagh's pledge - in a New Statesman interview last week - to go back to annual increases of RPI plus 1% will cost millions of commuter votes across the South East. They will oppose that view at the party conference in Manchester next month, arguing a freeze is a cost of living vote winner.

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