ELy commuters to be hit by unfair price hike says politician

MEP Alex Mayer says season ticket price hikes are unfair for Ely commuters

MEP Alex Mayer says season ticket price hikes are unfair for Ely commuters - Credit: Archant

A politician has slammed a price hike on season rail tickets from Ely to London that she says is rising faster than people’s wages.

Commuters face an unwelcome 3.2 per cent price increase in rail fares, which will add more than £160 to the cost of an annual season ticket to the capital next year.

Labour MEP Alex Mayer is backing calls for the lower Consumer Prices Index (CPI), rather than the Retail Prices Index (RPI), to be used to set January rail fare rises.

Ms Mayer said: “Cancellations, chaos and delays across the rail network and a ten year record low for commuter satisfaction. Give commuters a break.

“Surely after the chaos of the last few months, the Government should not be allowing fares to increase faster than many people’s wages.

“This news is yet another smack in the face for hard working commuters who have been hit again and again by eye-watering rail fare rises. We need to be encouraging people onto trains not putting obstacles in the way.

“Labour would bring our railways into public ownership, this would mean capped fairs, more reliable services and more investment. It’s time to put passengers first, not profit and run our railways for the many, not the few.

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In Germany, the cost of a season ticket that lets you board any train anywhere in the country for a year is £3,840, yet in Ely commuters pay £5,315 which is £1,475 more than that, she added.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the railway, said: “Fares are underpinning a once-in-a-generation investment plan to improve the railway and politicians effectively determine that season ticket prices should change in line with other day-to-day costs to help fund this.

“While the industry is learning lessons from the recent timetable change, major improvements have been delivered this year from upgraded stations at London Bridge and Liverpool Lime Street to new trains in the South West and Scotland and more will be delivered in the next year.

“We understand that aspects of the current fares system are frustrating for people which is why as part of the industry’s plan, train companies are also leading a consultation to update regulation and improve the range of fares on offer, making the system simpler and easier to use for customers.”