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Stourbridge rail group slams train ticket price hikes
10:00am Monday 19th August 2013 in News
STOURBRIDGE and Hagley rail commuters are facing eye-watering price hikes over the next two years.
The Government has sanctioned rail companies, including London Midland, to increase fares by 4.1 per cent which could see some season tickets prices rocket by £44.
A season ticket from Stourbridge Town station to Birmingham will cost £738 which is a £103 increase since 2010. And a season ticket from Hagley station will cost £1,064, an increase of £44 and a £259 increase since 2010.
The Stourbridge Line Users Group have slammed the new price increases.
Chairman Rob Hebron said: "Fare rises above inflation are unacceptable when the hard pressed commuter is faced with wage restraint or a pay freeze.
“Where is the justification for any rise when revenue must be at record levels due to passenger growth?
“Do the train operators want to reverse the trend and put commuters back in cars or coaches?"
He added: "Once again,the perpetrators are playing the blame game.
“The train operators blame the government and the coalition government blames the last administration.
“The Stourbridge Line User Group urges passengers to contact their local MP and express their opposition to this indecent fare rise."
Lye Councillor Pete Lowe, Dudley Council deputy leader and Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stourbridge, expressed sympathy for local rail passengers.
He said: “These inflation busting price increases are just another tax on the hard working families of Stourbridge. Since this Government came to power in 2010 households have lost £1,500 in wages in real terms and now they are having to pay more to get to a job where they effectively earn less.”
The chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies Michael Roberts believes higher prices save taxpayers paying for improvements to the rail network.
He said: “Government determines how the average season ticket price rise is set each year. Since 2004, it has been Government policy to allow regulated fares to rise above inflation in order to support investment in more trains, better stations and faster services.
“This is helping to drive passenger satisfaction to near record levels while seeking to reduce taxpayers’ contribution towards the cost of running the railways.”
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