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Train commuters 'priced out of work': MP Mark Reckless joins Tory rebellion over rail fares

Mark Reckless
Mark Reckless

by political editor Paul Francis

Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless has joined the growing list of Conservative backbenchers to express disquiet over a 6.2% hike in rail fares.

The coalition is facing increasing pressure over the planned hike and last week the veteran Kent MP Sir John Stanley said the government was exploiting rail users.

Mr Reckless said he too harboured concerns, warning the latest increase would be unaffordable for many commuters.

"What I have found with prices going up this fast is that many of my constituents have to get up at 5am or 6am to take a coach to London because they cannot afford to take the train whereas others have been priced out completely because they are spending almost all their take-home pay on a season ticket. I just think that is counter-productive.

"I think it is a question of fairness to people who are working hard and just doing their best.

"We want to encourage people to work hard and provide for their families rather than sit at home on welfare."

He urged the Chancellor to hold back the increase to RPI plus 1% of the rate of inflation.

"The linkages with RPI do not make sense when wages, if they are going up at all, are going up less than inflation," he added.

Rail fares are going up by at least 6.2% in January
Rail fares are going up by at least 6.2% in January

Rail fares are going up by at least 6.2% in January

Mr Reckless said one way to finance the increase - due to come into force in January - would be to reduce the sums the UK paid to the EU.

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