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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

MP backs lower rail fares campaign

Dear Gordon Henderson,
 
Re: Rail fares
 
I am writing to thank you for your support on rail fares this year. We warmly welcome the announcement made in the Autumn Statement that rail fares will be rising by RPI+1% rather than RPI+3% in the New Year. This decision significantly eases the burden on commuters. We have been running the Fair Fares Now campaign for just under a year, and we are very grateful to all the MPs who have shown support and helped raise the profile of this vital issue. We are confident the benefits of this reprieve for businesses, for traffic management and for commuters will validate the decision.
 
Nevertheless, we are concerned that there has been no movement on the higher fare rises planned for 2013 and 2014. The economic case for fair rail fares remains strong and it would be a mistake to allow impending RPI+3% rises to overshadow the next financial year. The Government is already on track to meet its target to reduce taxpayer contributions to the railways to 25% by 2014, so the planned fare rises are unnecessary as well as counterproductive. For these reasons we will be continuing the Fair Fares Now campaign, making the case for a value for money rail service and speaking up for passengers who face fare hikes year on year. In particular, we will be responding to the Department for Transport consultation on rail fares and ticketing which we expect early next year. I very much hope that you will continue to have an active interest in these important matters.
 
Once again I would like to thank you for your work on rail fares this year. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Sophie Allain
Public Transport Campaigner
Campaign for Better Transport
www.bettertransport.org.uk

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