Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough today wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in response to the news that the cost of commuter rail ticket from Slough to London could increase by £132.88 next year. Figures released this week show that RPI, the rate of inflation used to base fares on, was 2.5%. The average Rail fares increase is RPI+1 as the Government puts more of the cost of railways on to the fare payer.
Fiona said, “Last year I helped to persuade the Chancellor to drop the extra 1% increase and I am demanding that he does the same again. It is unacceptable that rail fares can increase by a rate higher than wages. People are already struggling to afford the basics and this cost won’t help.
“I’ve written to the Chancellor, asking him to help Slough people by making sure costs don’t increase when people can’t afford it. Fares are increasing twice as fast as wages and peoples budgets are squeezed.
“And despite rail fares increasing by around £30 a month since 2010, we haven’t seen investment into rail services in Slough. Since my campaign to get lifts into the station succeeded all we have had is a bit of paint, and the overcrowding on the trains is still unacceptable despite the conversion of some first class into standard carriages. Slough still has too many overcrowded slow, late and cancelled trains. The department is also considering cutting the number of off peak fast trains. Slough’s competitive edge as a place to do business is being harmed because people can’t get here quickly.”