28 NOV 2012

Better news on local rail fare increases

MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, welcomed the announcement by Southeastern that rail fare increases on the Tunbridge Wells and Paddock Wood lines will not be higher than around 4% next year.

Although the Government capped the annual rail fare increase to inflation plus 1% for the next two years, under its current franchise agreement Southeastern is legally entitled to increase the fare from any particular station by up to 5% more than this, as long as the average increase across its network is at the national cap.

Greg Clark said:

"Last month, I met with the Managing Director of Southeastern and urged him not to increase rail fares from our local stations by more than the national average, especially at a time when many people are struggling financially.

"I am very pleased that he listened to the concerns that I raised - this announcement will be a huge relief to rail passengers."

In the past, local rail passengers have been hit by double-figure rail fare increases. As a result of a campaign by Kent MPs and the local press, Southeastern reduced rail fare increases to around 6% last year.

Rail fares are based on the Retail Price Index (RPI) in July 2012, which was 3.2%, plus 3%. The Government announced the average rise for the next two years would be capped at RPI plus 1%.

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