Rail price rise is penalising those who rely on public transport

UKIP’s transport spokesman Jill Seymour has condemned the latest inflation-busting rise in rail fares.

The price of a train ticket in Britain will go up by an average of 3.4% from the start of January – the largest increase since 2013.

The price rise includes regulated fares such as season tickets, and unregulated tariffs like off-peak leisure fares.

Mrs Seymour, a West Midlands MEP, said: “This is once again penalising those people who rely entirely on public transport to travel to their workplace.

“We are told that 97% of the money is reinvested in the railways, yet the stories we hear from commuters about tatty, overcrowded rolling stock suggest otherwise.

“The Government is constantly talking about encouraging people to ditch their cars and switch to public transport, yet the price of a rail ticket is already prohibitive for many, even before these latest rises.”

The Rail Delivery Group has admitted that it is a ‘significant increase in fares’.

Mrs Seymour said: “The very least we expect to see is a similarly significant increase in the quality of our railway network.

“If it’s not forthcoming, then I can only assume that the rail operators are indeed laughing all the way to the bank, as the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has suggested.

“More than 10% of trains arrived late at their destination over the past year – you cannot continue to hike prices, without addressing shoddy customer service.”