Lib Dems call for 5-year rail fare freeze over fears of £100 increase on season tickets

The Liberal Democrats have called for rail fares to be frozen for the next five years after new figures show that Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation in July reached nine per cent. 

The party are concerned by the price hike Lambeth residents will face. The price of a season ticket from Streatham Hill to London Terminals could go up by £108.36, according to Liberal Democrats analysis.

But a Government spokeswoman told South London Press it would not increase next year’s rail fares by as much as the July RPI figure.

Clapham Common and Abbeville Lib Dem councillor, Ben Curtis, said: “These price hikes, in the midst of a cost-of-living-crisis, are completely unsustainable for millions of people who rely on our railways every day. 

“To hike prices on a sustainable form of transport in the midst of an inflationary and environmental crisis is beyond reckless – and sends completely the wrong message.

“Government should be freezing fares, not raising them – and finding the money to do so should be a priority for them.”

The Government sets price increases for regulated rail fares, including standard day returns, season tickets and most commuter fares, which make up 45 per cent of all fares. 

The rise comes despite disrupted services over the past year due to industrial action and the Government’s plans to close ticket offices at stations around the country. 

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “Following last year’s biggest ever Government intervention to cap rail fare increases well below inflation, we’ll continue to protect passengers from cost of living pressures and we will not increase next year’s rail fares by as much as the July RPI figure.

“Any increase will also be delayed until March 2024, temporarily freezing fares for passengers to travel at a lower price for the entirety of January and February as the Government continues with its plan to halve inflation.”

Pictured top: A train at Victoria station in London (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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