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Labour Party protest at Dover Priory and Deal stations over average 3.4% rail fare rises

By Sam Lennon

Dover Priory and Deal stations saw protests against rail fare rises.

The Labour Party organised the demonstrations at 40 stations around the UK after fares were hiked by an average 3.4% from New Year’s Day.

Labour says that this is despite average wages being below 2% last year.

Dover Priory station rail fares protest. Pictured are Miriam Wood, Ian Palmer and Barbara and Nick Hansom. Picture courtesy of Peter Wallace

The price rise from Southeastern, serving Dover and Deal, is 3.6%.

The watchdog Transport Focus said some unregulated off peak fares may go up by up to 10%.

Labour Party members handed out leaflets to commuters on Tuesday and Wednesday last week Jan 2 and 3to highlight that fares have increased by an average 32% since 2010.

The cost of a season ticket from Dover Priory to St Pancras International in London is now £137.80 per week, or £7165.60 a year.

Dover town councillor Miriam Wood, who led the protest at Dover Priory, said: “Travelling by train is becoming more and more expensive for people in Dover.

“People are being priced out of using the train, when we should be encouraging more people to use it.

“Research by the TUC shows train fares to London can cost up to five times more than they would in France or Italy. The train network is being mismanaged and run for profit, not for people.”

The Labour Party policy is to return the railway to national ownership capping fares and investing more in improvements.

Fellow town councillor Ian Palmer said: “We got a great reception from people because they are sick and tired of constant price rises twice as high as inflation.

“Everyone I spoke to said they were very unhappy their fares have gone up and want to see the train companies run for passengers, not just for profits.”

Dover Priory Station. Passengers endure another price hike

Southeastern says that increases are needed to continue improvements on the rail network.

The price rise of 3.4% is linked to the RPI measure of inflation and imposed by the government. The remainder is added by Southeastern.

The company says that revenue from ticket sales help pay for station improvements, customer-facing staff and better train services.

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