Manuel Abellan, Sutton Council’s lead on transport, has called for a freeze on rail fares following the announcement that the Retail Price Index rose by 1.6% in July, which will be used to calculate the increase in fares at the end of the year.
The Lib Dem councillor said that for Tory ministers to oversee an increase in fares would be “a slap in the face” for Sutton residents who use the trains.
Given the significant drop in passenger numbers due to COVID-19, Councillor Abellan is calling for fare freezes to help restore confidence in the railways.
Councillor Abellan has said encouraging use of public transport is vital if Tory ministers are serious about cutting emissions and reducing air pollution.
Councillor Abellan said:
“Let’s be clear to Tory ministers: A rail fare increase on their watch will be a slap in the face for Sutton residents who use the trains.
“Our railways are key to a sustainable transport network, vital for tackling the climate emergency and cutting air pollution. Rather than putting off commuters with yet another price hike, Tory ministers must help the industry recover from the COVID-19 crisis. As people start to return to their workplaces, any hike in fares would be unjustifiable and a fares freeze is a must.”