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Wiltshire Lib Dems Fight for a Rail Fare Freeze!

September 7, 2020 8:00 AM
By Wiltshire Liberal Democrats
Originally published by Liberal Democrats in Wiltshire

GWRThe Liberal Democrats are calling for the annual increase in rail fares from next January to be cancelled, a move which would save typical commuters in Wiltshire between £33 and £165 next year, according to the party's analysis.

The proposed 1.6% rise in fares is based on the rise in the Retail Price Index for the 12 months to July 2020.

The rise was higher than expected, reflecting factors such as the lack of summer sales as retailers struggled to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Liberal Democrats argue that any increase in ticket prices will be a "slap in the face" for consumers when the Government should be trying to get people back onto sustainable forms of transport and investing to improve vital services.

Helen Belcher, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Chippenham, said:

"At a time when so many families are already stretched due to COVID-19, the Conservatives seem happy for commuters in Wiltshire to face yet another hike in the price of their season tickets.

"A freeze on fares would save typical season ticket using commuters in the Chippenham area between £19 and £164 next year.

Ellen Nicholson, Parliamentary Spokesperson for South West Wiltshire, said:

"Liberal Democrats in Wiltshire are calling on the Government to keep costs down for commuters and to bring in new types of season ticket to suit more flexible working patterns. For example, season ticket holders travelling from Trowbridge and Westbury to Bristol Temple Meads will be forced to pay an extra £36.29 or £39.55 and £147.39 more when travelling to London!"

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Salisbury, Victoria Charleston said:

"Any plans to go ahead with a fare increase this year will be a slap in the face for consumers.

Rather than putting off commuters with another price hike, the Government must help the industry recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Season ticket holders travelling from Tisbury via Salisbury will pay an extra £91.97 next year to travel to London, an extra £68.29 to go to Bath and an extra £74.75 to Bristol Temple Meads."

Brian Mathew, Wiltshire Lib Dem Spokesperson for Climate Change and Innovation said:

"Our railways are vital in the fight to tackle the climate emergency and cut air pollution.

At such a crucial time we should be encouraging people to use public transport, not slapping them with higher prices.

"Liberal Democrats are calling for a freeze on fares until the next election, as well as for the Government to publish and implement the Rail Review and invest to increase capacity."

Sign up to this campaign online - https://wiltshirelibdems.org.uk/en/petition/freeze-the-fares

To Note

The savings referenced above are based on figures for an annual seasont icket from Chippenham, Westbury and Trowbridge to Bath Spa, Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington. The savings referenced for the Salisbury route are based on an annual season ticket from Tisbury to Salisbury and from Salisbury to Bath Spa, Bristol Temple Meads and London Waterloo.