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Wednesday 17th August 2011 | 11:48
RMT press release
PUNITIVE HIKES in rail fares in transport ministers' own constituencies and key Tory marginals in the southeast threaten to unleash a massive political backlash among commuters struggling to meet rocketing bills, Britain's biggest rail union says today.
Increases of up to 13 per cent from January, triggered by the coalition yesterday with the release of the July inflation figure, will add a massive burden to people already facing huge increases in energy bills and there is worse to come, says RMT.
With exact rises yet to be determined by private rail operators given licence to increase some fares by up to 13 per cent, the union has calculated what will be the minimum increases from January (full
tables below), with further inflation-busting rises due each year until 2015.
* In Transport Secretary Philip Hammond's Runnymede and Weybidge constituency, the cost of a season ticket into London will rise to at least £2,604 from £2,412.
* In rail minister Theresa Villiers constituency of Chipping Barnet, an annual ticket to London from New Barnet will cost at least £1,425, up from £1,320.
* Season tickets from Hemel Hempstead the base of minister Mike Penning will rise from £3,024 to at least £3,265, and from Lewes, whose MP is Norman Baker, the cost of a season will rise from 3,532 to at least £3,814.
* In Hendon, where Tory MP Matthew Offord has a majority of just 106, a season ticket into central London will cost at least £1,391, up from £1,288.
* In Hastings and Rye, where Amber Rudd has a majority of 1,993, a season from Hastings to London on non-high-speed services will go up from £4,152 to £4,484
* and in Hove, where Mike Weatherley has a majority of 1,868, travel into London will cost £3,814, up from £3,532.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today: The government is bent on making commuters and rail workers pay to protect the profits of private rail operators who have already drained nearly £7 billion
from the industry, but they risk provoking a huge backlash.
The last thing the economy or the environment need is to see more working people priced off the railways, and RMT will fight tooth and nail alongside passengers, green campaigners and other unions to see
this madness reversed.
These fare hikes, alongside the McNulty report, add up to an assault on the railways that could see them wrecked for generations to come, and they need to be stopped.