UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour today welcomed the end of inflation-busting rail fare rises.
But she questioned why the price of travelling by train should be increasing at all in the new year – with the cost of many tickets having already risen by 25 per cent since 2010.
Her comments came as it was confirmed that regulated rail fares are to be kept in line with the cost of living from January, with any changes now tied to the Retail Price Index (RPI) level of inflation.
Mrs Seymour, a West Midlands MEP, said: “This is not before time. Commuters who regularly use the train have seen the cost of their season tickets rising three times faster than their wages in recent years.
“These prices have meant that travelling by train is simply not a practical or cost-effective alternative to the car for many workers.
“Today’s announcement is a small step in the right direction, but let us not forget that we still have the most expensive rail fares in Europe, which have risen by over 200 per cent in the last 20 years.”
But Mrs Seymour claimed rail ticket prices should have been tied instead to the Consumer Price Index level of inflation, instead of the traditionally higher RPI system which includes mortgage payments.“The huge rises in rail fares might have been slightly easier to stomach if we had seen huge sums of money being spent on improvements to the rail infrastructure.
“But this hasn’t been the case. The only money the Government seems happy to spend on the rail network are the eye-watering sums pledged for the HS2 link – a vanity project which our country does not need, and cannot afford.”