Labour is today using an Opposition Day debate to seek to impose a strict one per cent above inflation cap on future increases in rail fares, preventing price rises of up to 11 per cent due in January 2013 and January 2014.
The Tory-led Government increased the cap on annual fair increases from RPI+1% to RPI+3% in the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review, and have reversed Labour's ban on train companies having the flexibility to increase some fares by a further 5%.
The result will be steep hikes in fares over the next three years, often in excess of 10%.
Even on relatively conservative estimates compiled by the Campaign for Better Transport, passengers on routes across Yorkshire and Humber would suffer rises, such as the following examples:
* Bradford - Manchester: up £355 (from £2,236 to £2,591)
* Huddersfield - Leeds: up £189 (from £1,192 to £1,381)
* Bradford - Leeds: up £144 (from £908 to £1,052)
* Leeds - Sheffield:up £341 (from £2,148 to £2,489)
* Leeds - York: up £299 (from £1,884 to £2,183)
* Leeds - Hull: up £592 (from £3,732 to £4,324)
(source - The Campaign for Better Transport
Maria Eagle MP, Labour's Shadow Transport Secretary, speaking ahead of Labour’s Opposition Day debate on rail fares, said:
"The rising cost of rail travel is adding to the financial pressures that many people are facing thanks to a recession made in Downing Street. The Government has put the wrong people first by caving in to pressure from the private train companies and letting them hike rail fares by up to 11 per cent every year.
"Many Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs have been telling their constituents that they share growing anger at the eye watering prices people are having to pay, often just to get to work. They should now back up their words with action and join Labour MPs in voting for a strict one per cent above inflation cap on future annual rail fare rises."