James Brokenshire has said news that national rail fare increases are to be curbed will be extremely welcome news for commuters. The Prime Minister announced during the Conservative Party Conference that the Government will cap rail fares at RPI+1 per cent in 2013 and 2014.
Fares had been expected to rise by RPI +3 per cent in the New Year and the change is expected to benefit over quarter of a million annual season ticket holders and many more holders of weekly and monthly tickets. The Government has also provided additional funding to Transport for London to ensure that fares on TfL’s tube, bus, rail and light rail networks will also rise by an average of no more than RPI+1 in January 2013 and 2014.
The Department for Transport has identified headroom in its budget for this financial year which it intends to prioritise to secure this extra benefit for hard-pressed commuters and passengers. This will not come at the cost of investment in the rail network which is now at record levels following the announcement of a package worth more than £9 billion in the summer.
Commenting James said:
“The decision to cap fares lower than they were going to be will be extremely welcome at this time when household finances are under increasing pressure. The Government has been clear that wherever it can, it will help people with their cost of living. It is why we are freezing council tax, cutting income tax, cutting fuel duty, and increasing the state pension by the biggest ever amount.”