Milton Keynes MP welcomes freeze on rail fares

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City MP Iain Stewart has welcomed the announcement made by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne that rail fares will be frozen for the second year running.

Last month it was announced that fares would increase by 3.5 per cent next January, however, the Chancellor’s move will see fares only rise with inflation.

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South said: “The government have made an important and right decision to freeze rail fares again.

“I have been lobbying the Transport Secretary for several months on this and I am glad to see it has been actioned.

“Because we have taken difficult decisions and sorted our economy, we can afford to help commuters in this way.”

It is expected that commuters will save an average of £75 on their season tickets across 2014 and 2015.

Mr Stewart added: “It is important to remember that we inherited an inefficient rail system from the previous Labour government.

“This government is serious about investing in our railways.

“Over the next five years £38 billion is being spent on modernisation, which will help cut journey times, provide better connections for passengers, stimulate economic growth and support job growth across the country.”

Labour Parliamentary Candidate Andrew Pakes argues the price of a season ticket is still set to have risen by 26 per cent since 2010 and has called on the government to reform the way it calculates fares.

Mr Pakes said: “This latest fix from the government will do little to address the underlying costs of rail travel since privatisation.

“The cost of a season ticket has shot up by over £1000 since 2010 adding further to the cost of living concerns facing many families.

“Ministers need to stop blaming the last government and get to grips with the cost of train travel. Only two years ago Ministers wasted more than £40 million of tax payers money on the failed refranchising competition for the West Coast Mainline.

“We have one of the most expensive rail networks in the world and we need a long term solution to help passengers and provide value for money.”