Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has criticised the government’s confirmation that rail fares will increase by a further 3.1% in January, the biggest hike in six years. 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 over £5000 for a season ticket to London, after months of poor service. A decision to hike prices this much shows a broken system going off the rails.“
Train punctuality slipped to a 12-year low in the summer and 14% of services failed to meet the industry’s punctuality target over the past year.
That means one in seven trains arrived at terminating stations over five minutes late for commuter services, or 10 minutes late for long-distance journeys.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Transport for London (TfL) fares will not rise at all next year as part of a four-year freeze until 2020.
Daniel Zeichner comments: “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, and they refused to take responsibility. This shows a Government and rail companies which are completely out of touch with the needs of passengers. ”
“This price hike 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.”