LABOUR PLEDGES £200 SAVINGS ON SEASON COMMUTER TICKETS

Labour has pledged to save the average rail commuter more than £200 a year by forcing companies to limit fare increases on season tickets.

The party said a Labour government would restrict the amount train operators could raise ticket prices by linking any change in fares to a lower measure of inflation than the one currently used.

The Conservative manifesto from the 2015 election promised that regulated fares could rise by no more than the retail price index (RPI). Instead, Labour wants to cap them at the consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation which tends to be lower. The most recent figure for CPI over the previous 12 months was 2.7%, against 3.5% for RPI.

As with the current cap, it would apply only to regulated fares, which make up about 45% of the total and fall under the authority of the relevant transport minister in England, Wales and Scotland.

Labour says that using official projections for the levels of CPI and RPI over the next parliament, the user of the average-cost annual season ticket of just under £2,800 would save £1,000 in total by 2022 under the party’s formula.

The party has already pledge to take the rail companies back into public ownership. However, this will happen over a period of time, as the individual franchises expire. Labour would aim to introduce further caps or reductions over time as more companies became publicly owned.

The party said that since 2010, regulated rail fares as a whole had risen by just over 27%, meaning the average cost of a season ticket had risen by almost £600.

Its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said: “Under the Conservatives, rail fares have sky-rocketed and tickets are some of the most expensive in Europe.

“Labour will take Britain’s railways back into public control and put more money into people’s pockets by capping fares. This will save commuters £1,014 on their rail season tickets over the next parliament, as part of our plan to promote services for the many, not the few.”

The shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said rail privatisation had failed and it would take “more than tinkering around the edges” to improve services.

“The 2017 Tory manifesto has failed to make any commitment to keeping rail fares frozen in real terms, meaning rail fares are likely to rise above inflation if the Conservatives win the general election,” he said.

A Conservative spokesman said: “Once again Jeremy Corbyn simply hasn’t done his sums. Renationalising the railways will either add billions of pounds to our national debt or hit ordinary working people in the pocket with higher taxes. It’s yet more economic shambles from Labour.”

GUARDIAN


 

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