Rail Fares to Rise by 2.7% but Labour Promises Cuts

Labour vows to slash rail fares by a third from January if Jeremy Corbyn wins election

Labour spending plans ‘rebalancing 10 years of austerity’ – Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour Party has revealed plans to reduce train fares by a third as part of its wider ambitions to nationalise the rail network.

According to excerpts from the speech disclosed by his press office, Corbyn will explain that the reduction in the price of train tickets will represent a saving of 1,000 pounds per year for the average passenger.

It said the move, which will apply to regulated fares that make up nearly half of all tickets sold from January, would give relief to millions of rail commuters from years of price rises.

Regulated rails are due to rise by an average of 2.7% in January, taking the total increase since 2010 to 40%, more than twice the rate of increase in wages, Labour said. "Labour will scrap the bewildering and outdated fares and ticketing system that discriminates against part-time workers, discourages rail travel and excludes the young and low paid".

Corbyn officially launched the policy outside London's Finsbury Park station in the Islington North constituency he has held since 1983.

The cold Monday morning saw Corbyn receive a warm reception from both activists and constituents as he was lavished with praise, offers of good luck and posed for multiple selfies, including with rail workers.

There would be a daily price cap so travellers can pay as they go using bank cards or mobile phones.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said Labour's vow would "wreck our economy and cost people their livelihoods".

The RDG pointed out that previous governments "have decided that farepayers and not taxpayers should cover most of the cost of running the railway [which] frees up public funds for record levels of investment in infrastructure".

RDG chief executive Paul Plummer said: 'Passengers will benefit from 1,000 extra, improved train carriages and over 1,000 extra weekly services in 2020 and the industry will continue to push for changes to fares regulations to enable a better range of affordable, mix and match fares and reduced overcrowding on some of the busiest routes'.

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said they would support fare reductions if it was paid for by the United Kingdom taxpayer rather than rail companies.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, welcomed Labour's pledges as having the potential to "transform travel for the future, increasing rail passenger numbers and rail jobs to help fight the climate crisis".

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