Friday, 9 July 2010

Rail Passengers Could See Big Fare Increases

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has warned that rail passengers could see a big rise in ticket costs in the new year if investment in the railways is to be protected. He said the current formula used to set fares at 1% above the Retail Price Index (RPI) was not "set in stone". Speaking to the National Rail Conference in Liverpool Mr Hammond said the government faced "stark choices" and it would be "irresponsible" to not consider charging passengers more.

The UK already has the highest fares in Europe and there are fears that significant fare increases will drive people off the railways. The Liberal Democrats had a pledge in their manifesto to amend the RPI+1% formula to RPI-1% and the coalition will no doubt be pressed on this in the coming weeks.

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