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PM vows real-term rail fare freeze

Published 10/04/2015

Prime Minister David Cameron.
Prime Minister David Cameron.

A Tory government would freeze rail fares in real terms until 2020, David Cameron has pledged.

The Prime Minister said extending the RPI inflation cap on regulated ticket prices for another five years would save the average commuter hundreds of pounds.

The coalition has imposed the same restrictions for the past two years, and also removed the "'flex" train that allowed operators to increase some fares by more than inflation as long as others went up by less.

According to the Conservatives, the policy means commuters are already paying £75 less than they would have been.

By 2020 they would be an extra £400 better off. The announcement is part of an effort to blunt the Labour attack over the cost of living, and accusations that most people are not benefiting from the economic recovery.

Mr Cameron, who is campaigning in the south west today, said: "The cost of commuting is one of the biggest household bills that hardworking families face and it is something we are determined to bear down on.

"It shouldn't just be taken for granted that people across the country who get up early and come home late, spend a large amount of the money they earn travelling to and from work.

"Because of the difficult decisions that we have taken to repair the economy, we have been able to hold down commuter fares for the past two years.

"If elected in May, we would freeze them in real terms for the next five."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has also said Transport For London fares will be frozen in real terms until his term ends in 2016.

"The Prime Minister's announcement is fantastic news for the millions of people who travel by rail in London each day, unlike the inflation-busting fares rises under the previous Labour Government," he said. "Alongside this, I am delighted to announce that I will be freezing TFL fares in real terms whilst I am mayor."

But Mick Cash, leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said: "This latest stunt would still mean annual fare increases that would institutionalise the harsh reality that the British passenger pays the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed out and unreliable trains.

"The only solution is to end the rip off of rail privatisation which would allow us to free up the hundreds of millions of pounds drained off in profits to invest in services and cut fares."

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