Have your say: Campaign for fair rail fares
Tell us how you have been affected by the inflation-busting New Year increases to train, Tube and bus fares.
Monty Python star Michael Palin has given his support to a new campaign calling for cheaper, simpler and fairer train fares.
Fair Fares Now was launched today by charity Campaign for Better Transport as commuters faced their first working day after season ticket fares rose by up to 12.8 per cent.
The launch at Charing Cross station featured campaigners dressed as David Cameron and Nick Clegg, as well as a lookalike of Transport Secretary Philip Hammond dressed as a pickpocket.
The campaigners’ message is that by increasing fares year on year the government is “pickpocketing” passengers.
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Camden resident Mr Palin, who is president of CBT, was the first to sign up to the Fair Fares Now campaign, and said: “Rail fare rises are holding travellers to ransom, and increasing the likelihood that people will have to take to our already over-crowded roads.
“Regular price hikes are no way for the government and the train companies to reward their regular customers. Instead of milking them, they should be thanking them for their loyalty with a better, simpler, more competitive fare structure.”
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Millions of commuters have had to fork out an average 5.8 per cent extra for their season tickets today, and up to 12.8 per cent in some places.
CBT says prices will soar by another 25 per cent by 2015.
The campaign calls for more affordable, straightforward train tickets that provide good value for money and encourage people to choose the train.
Alexandra Woodsworth, public transport campaigner at CBT, said: “The astronomical fare rises that passengers face paying today could price many off our railways.
“Reducing road congestion, pollution and providing sustainable and affordable access to employment should be a priority, but instead commuters can expect a fare rise of 25 per cent by the next election.
“Our new Fair Fares Now campaign will give the public a voice to protest to the government about this decision. We were promised ‘fair’ rail fares by the coalition and this campaign will show how important it is to passengers that the government keep their promise.”
To join the campaign visit www.fairfaresnow.org.uk
How are you affected by the hefty increases in train, Tube and bus fares? Will continuing fare rises make you rethink where you work and how you travel? Tell us your views by adding your comments below.