Chris Oxlade: “Tories hit First Capital Connect passengers with stealth fare rises of up to £664”
Research carried out by Labour's Shadow transport team has exposed secret government plans to raise fares for commuters in the South East, just one week after they exposed how passengers on Northern Rail are being hit by stealth fare rises.
First Capital Connect (FCC) and Southern services are being merged into the Government’s new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) mega-franchise, which begins on September 14th. Where two existing franchises currently compete – e.g. Brighton-London where FCC and Southern both operate - eliminating the cheaper fare is a condition of the new franchise. The Labour Party has received confirmation that the cheaper FCC fares will be phased out, but ministers have failed to state when and how that will happen.
Under the new franchise, some commuters from Brighton to London will pay £664 a year more for their season ticket. Day fares on other routes will rise by up to 74%.
Mary Creagh MP:
“Just one week after Labour caught George Osborne and Nick Clegg hammering their constituents in the North with huge stealth fare increases, the Tories and Lib Dems are at it again.
“David Cameron has allowed rail companies to hit commuters with inflation busting fare hikes of more than 20% since 2010, and his government's plans for secret fare rises in the southeast will leave commuters hundreds of pounds out of pocket.
“Labour’s plan for the railways would tackle the cost-of-living crisis and drive the biggest reform of the railways since privatisation. Labour will cap rail fares, legislate for a public sector operator, devolve the running of regional and local services and deliver a railway which puts passengers first, not profits.”
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley, Chris Oxlade said “People in Crawley have been let down by our Tory MP who has failed to stop their bosses in Government from hitting people in Crawley with huge fare rises.
People thought their fares only went in January but a nasty surprise lies ahead. Our Tory MP should come clean and tell local people when these fare rises will hit them. People in Crawley will not be fooled by what the government says on fares. They learned long ago you simply can't trust the tories with the railway”.