Price hike for Milton Keynes commuters

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No Caption ABCDE PNL-141124-091537001

City commuters have seen rail fares increase by 27 per cent over the last four years, according to figures released by the rail regulator.

On Friday, the Rail Delivery Group confirmed fares will go up by 2.2 per cent in January, meaning the cost of a season ticket from Milton Keynes Central to London is expected to become £4,877.

Andrew Pakes, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes South, said: “Our rail fares are among the highest in Europe.

“Whilst this year’s increase looks modest compared to some years, the price of a season ticket has now gone up by over £1,000 since 2010.

“This latest increase will mean that a commuter earning £25,000 will be paying 20 per cent of their gross salary just for the privilege of getting to work, and that does not include any travel costs once they get into London.

“I am sure the government will try and spin this as good news - that won’t wash.

“We need a wholesale review of franchising to help bring down costs on the railways and to ensure operators are providing value for money.”

But MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, says this is the lowest rise in rail fare for five years.

He said: “This is yet more opportunism from Ed Miliband’s candidate. You would think rail fares had never gone up under a Labour government.

“We have kept this year and last year’s rise to the rate of inflation and we are putting in enormous investment into our rail network.

“Virgin and London Midland have already had extra carriages added in the last year or two, Bletchley station has been given a grant to be redeveloped and in the next few years we will have the East West Rail Line opening.

“Of course I hope in future we can keep any increase to a minimum, but you have to remember we have the safest railway in Europe and that costs money.

“I would not want to see safety compromised.”