UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour insisted voters would not be fooled by David Cameron’s promise to freeze rail fares ‘in real terms’ on major commuter routes for the next five years.
Mrs Seymour, the West Midlands MEP who is fighting The Wrekin constituency in Shropshire at the general election, accused the Tories of ‘dangling a carrot’ merely to try to win votes.
“It’s a bit late in the day for the Conservatives to decide it’s time to get a grip on rip-off rail fares, and trying to pose as a friend of the daily commuter," she said.
“Since the coalition came into power in 2010, the average rail ticket has risen in price by around 20 per cent – way ahead of inflation.
“At the same time, there has been little evidence of this money being spent on much-needed improvements to the rail infrastructure, or on helping to solve reliability problems.
“Instead, the Government is hell-bent on pressing ahead with its HS2 vanity project, which the country simply cannot afford, and which will benefit just a small percentage of travellers.”
Under Mr Cameron’s proposals, the Tories will freeze rail fares in real terms on commuter routes until 2020. But Mrs Seymour pointed out that this would still mean prices continuing to rise, in line with inflation.
“During this time, anyone travelling by train into London from the commuter belt to its north is going to be facing years of nightmare disruption due to the development of HS2.
“Routes into Euston will suffer particularly badly, and there will be knock-on effects elsewhere, as developers cut through swathes of our countryside and farmland.
“Frankly, the Conservatives have a real cheek making this announcement today, having sat in the political waiting room for years while commuters suffer real financial hardship.”