Brighton, Hove and Portslade commuters face 4 per cent train fare rise

Posted On 13 Aug 2013 at 4:59 pm

Train fares for commuters from Brighton, Hove and Portslade are to rise 4.1 per cent from January.

The increase is based on the inflation figures for July which were published today (Tuesday 13 August) because regulated fares are linked to the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

Train operators, such as Southern and First Capital Connect, are allowed to put up regulated fares, such as season tickets, by an average of RPI plus 1 per cent.

As a result a season ticket to London from Brighton or Hove is expected to top £4,300 from the new year.

The Spearhead

The fare increases have been criticised, including by Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas.

She said that it would be the 11th year in a row that train fares had gone up.

This morning she said on Twitter: “On way to #Brighton station to protest about rising rail fares & publicise my Bill to re-nationalise railways – RT if u support!”

She was collecting signatures at the station for a petition.

Caroline Lucas at Brighton Station

Caroline Lucas at Brighton Station

On her website she said: “Passengers and taxpayers alike are being ripped off.”

Dr Lucas said: “People in Brighton and Hove, and across the UK, are sick of paying a fortune for train services which aren’t good enough.

“We have to put up with unreliable services, overcrowding, and some of the highest fares in Europe.

“Since the railways were sold off, the cost of train travel has risen by 17 per cent. And in recent years, the cost to the taxpayer has more than doubled.

“Meanwhile, shareholders are generating huge profits.”

She has introduced a private member’s bill – the Railways Bill – to try to renationalise the railways. It is due to be debated in the House of Commons on Friday 18 October.

The debate is known as the second reading and is the first significant hurdle facing the bill. If it wins the backing of MPs, it will then have to be debated by the House of Lords.

She has written to Labour asking for the party’s support and added: “By taking back individual franchises when they expire, or when companies fail to meet their conditions, the government could save over £1 billion a year every year.

“This is money that could and should be reinvested in services and also used to reduce fares.

“I hope Labour will support the growing campaign for Britain’s railways to be brought back into public hands.”

She has also sponsored an early day motion (EDM) calling for the railways to be brought back into public ownership. EDMs are rarely debated but give MPs a way of registering their opinions on topics that matter to them.

 

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