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Labour campaigners petition in stations around Kent against rail fare rises on Southeastern trains

06 January 2014
by KentOnline reporter

Protesters were today set to take to rail stations around Kent calling for a tough cap on rail fare rises on all routes.

The petition, organised by Labour's parliamentary candidates and councillors, comes just days after rail fares went up by an average of 2.8% on Southeastern trains.

Protesters will take their petition to Dover Priory, Deal and Chatham stations today.

A train at Maidstone East station

A train at Maidstone East station

Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh is in Dover and Deal to meet commuters and hear their concerns about the cost of travel.

Elsewhere in the county, Kent parliamentary candidates and councillors will be at several stations urging rail commuters to sign the petition.

The campaign coincides with the return to work after the Christmas and New Year break for thousands of people who rely on trains to commute from the south east.

The government capped fare increases to 3.1% last year in a move to give some relief to long-suffering passengers.

That was followed by the announcement that Southeastern was to peg the average increase to 2.8%.What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below

Labour says that does not go far enough - as do many campaign groups.

Ms Creagh said: "David Cameron's cost-of-living crisis continues as fares rise this week by up to 5%, while season tickets have gone up by twenty per cent under this government, costing hard-working commuters hundreds of pounds.

"Over the last three years David Cameron has failed to stand up for working people, allowing train companies to hit passengers with inflation-busting fare rises of up to nine per cent."

For many rail users, there will be a double whammy as the cost of parking at at 42 of Southeastern's 95 car parks will increase by between 10p and 20p per day. The remaining car parks have been frozen at 2013 prices.

The rising cost of travel by rail means that passengers from Deal and Dover are paying £5,012 a year for season tickets - up from £4,864.

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