Kent Green Party notes that the Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, is proposing to remove the current system which links rail fares to inflation. Steve Dawe comments:
“We already have the highest rail fares in the world here in the UK. Proposed rail fare increases of 6% for January 2011 could be increased to 10% or more if the Government removes controls on rail fares. We have previously seen how substantial fares for new High Speed rail services have resulted in low take up by rail travellers in Kent. If commuters despair of the ticket prices and take to the roads, then the traffic congestion, noise and air pollution in many Kent communities will obviously get worse. We need an integrated approach to transport.
“Rail fares should be cut, to increase passenger numbers and to help keep congestion and pollution down. Suggestions of delays to the delivery of new carriages should be abandoned. Supporting increased rail use is a clear priority if the Government means what it says about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Railways are not a sensible area for cuts. Additional taxation is possible – on cigarettes, alcohol and the highest incomes as examples – and should have been achieved in the recent budget. There is always an alternative to misdirected cuts in public spending and justifiable increased spending on the railway system is a clear example.”
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Published by H.Dawe and promoted for Kent Green Party, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF