Friday, 17 August 2012

KENT ROAD USERS NEED LOWER RAIL FARES


Kent Green Party is strongly opposed to the Government’s proposed massive hike in rail fares, scheduled for January. Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party and a rail commuter herself, explains:

“Kent’s rail commuters, including me, will experience huge rail fare increases of perhaps 9 or 10 per cent in January(1). Over-crowded trains, very high peak fares, bad air conditioning, cramped coach seating and stinking toilets are normal features of rail travel for which we pay more and more each year.

“Since our rail fares are about 40% above the European average and are the highest in the world, we should recognise how people deterred from using trains due to cost fill up Kent’s roads. Every road vehicle user has an interest in seeing rail fares cut back, so that more people use trains and traffic congestion is reduced. Kent Green Party urges everyone to write to their MPs to demand reductions in rail fares as an investment in reducing traffic congestion and air pollution(2).”

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FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, on 01732 355185 or 079444 71083. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe and published by Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. Monthly free ezine KENT GREEN NEWS available for subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org

Notes:

1.      The Government formula is to add together the rate of inflation (about 3.3 per cent at present) and add a further 3%. This creates a minimum of 6% rail fare rise in January but the obligation of South Eastern to pay more to the Government each year for its rail franchise means they are likely to seek to obtain more from rail commuters, making 9-10% possible on past practice. However, there have been suggestions an average of 11.2% is likely. South Eastern has already increased the minimum for Network Card use to £13 from £10 in one step and purchasing a Network Card is now £28;

2.      Kent Green Party supports calls for an end to the South Eastern rail franchise and for a rational rail ticketing policy. Submissions to Government consultations on these two topics may be found at www.kentgreenparty.org under Publications.

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