Berkhamsted politicians call for rail fare freeze amidst price hike fears
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Berkhamsted-based politicians are calling for rail prices to be frozen amidst fears ticket prices could increase by £400.
Liberal Democrats have called for rail fares to be frozen for the next five years.
The political group has reached this conclusion after discovering that Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation in July reached nine per cent.
This is the figure normally used to increase rail fares from next March.
Victoria Collins, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Harpenden and Berkhamsted, said that this “huge hike” in fares coupled with ticket office closures was a “betrayal of towns like Berkhamsted and hard-working commuters who live here”.
The Department for Transport announced that rail prices would not increase above the inflation marker. But no further guarantees were given, meaning the rise could be just under nine per cent.
Calculations from the political groups shows that if rail prices rose by nine per cent, it would cost commuters an additional £420.84 to get from Berkhamsted to London Euston.
As well as calling for a freeze ticket costs, the party is calling for a rethink over planned ticket office closures and for the Government to resolve ongoing industrial action.
Ms Collins said: “Liberal Democrats are fighting for a fair deal for Berkhamsted’s commuters and families who will be left forking out even more for train journeys in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
“Ministers cannot keep turning a blind eye to these problems, especially given people are paying more for less on our rail network with more delays, cancellations and their failure to deal with the strikes.
“If this Government had even a shred of decency they would freeze rail fares immediately to help families struggling here in Berkhamsted, under the cost of living crisis the Conservatives created. As things stand, there is no certainty at all.
“We should be making clean forms of transport cheaper, yet this Conservative government is determined to make rail more expensive than ever before.”
Three weeks ago, John Glen the chief secretary to the Treasury told Sky News: “There are tough decisions now around how to use his budget in a way that suits commuters and suits the economy as a whole. We have not come to the end of that discussion yet.”