Braintree district: Commuters unenthusiastic about capped rail fare increases (From Braintree and Witham Times)
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Braintree district: Commuters unenthusiastic about capped rail fare increases
4:00pm Monday 8th October 2012 in News
Passengers have reacted with scepticism to Government plans to limit fare increases for rail commuters.
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a u-turn on existing plans to allow fare rises of three per cent above inflation next year.
Train operators will now be capped at rising fare prices by a maximum of one per cent above inflation in 2013 and 2014.
Despite the concession, rail users in Witham and Braintree still face the prospect of a 4.2% increase in ticket prices in January.
Braintree resident Nikole Hughes said: “For one train per hour the price for commuting from Braintree is a joke, the branch line is the first to get cancelled when anything goes wrong. Trains are dirty, smelly and really old.
“Also who has had a below inflation, let alone above inflation, pay rise in recent times in order to keep up with these price rises?”
Witham MP Priti Patel has called on the Government to do more to guarantee significant investment in rail infrastructure.
Ms Patel said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to reduce the cap on rail fare increases, which will save my constituents money.
“But with fares still going up at a rate higher than inflation and wages barely increasing if at all, commuters will still be feeling their incomes squeezed by the costs of travel."
Read more in Wednesday's Times.