Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has criticised the government’s confirmation that rail fares will increase by a further 3.2% in January. This increase outstrips average wage rises.
Mr Zeichner says: “This increase is a real kick in the teeth for Cambridge commuters, who will now have to fork well over £5000 for a season ticket to London.
“For months, Cambridge residents and commuters have faced uncertainty, cancellations and delays on the railways, while paying huge chunks of their wages for poor services. I have challenged the Transport Secretary and the Rail Minister in the House of Commons and in Transport Select Committee sessions on numerous occasions. Who is really in charge of the railways, and who is going to clean up this mess? The Transport Secretary has repeatedly told me that it’s not him, to which I say, it should be and we should bring the railways back in house. The Department for Transport need to start taking responsibility for the problems that rail privatisation has created.”
Labour is calling on the Government to freeze rail fares on the routes most severely affected by the timetable changes – Govia Thameslink, Arriva Rail North and First TransPennine Express – as a small gesture of goodwill towards those passengers who have suffered and continue to suffer the worst of the timetabling chaos, announced Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald.
Daniel Zeichner comments: “Labour’s proposal is the very least that long-suffering Cambridge passengers deserve – rail companies should show them some respect, and stop ripping off hard-working residents to fill the pockets of private companies. It’s clear that although the government have the power to stop these rises, they don’t have the political will, and neither do the operators.”