The Liberal Democrats have pledged to cancel the 2.8% rail fare increase that will be introduced in December 2019 and freeze commuter fares and season tickets for the next five years. This means that season-ticket holders from Winchester to London Waterloo would save £2,349.19 over that period.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford, Paula Ferguson said:
“This is great news for commuters in Winchester and Chandler’s Ford. These year-on-year increases have got out of hand, and the service is getting worse while the costs are going up. Trains should be affordable and they should be reliable. People want to know they can get to work on time and they can get home again. I know from experience how it feels to be standing in Waterloo station after work, trying to get home to pick up my children and finding that all the trains are delayed.”
“Having a dependable train service is also a really important part of building a more sustainable future. We want to make rail travel simple and affordable so that people will want to use more environmentally friendly forms of transport.”
The Liberal Democrats would also overhaul ticketing by simplifying the system, looking to create season tickets for part-time commuters and introducing early-bird fares. The party would ensure that all rail franchises compensate passengers for delays of 15 minutes or more. Nationally, the policy is expected to cost approximately £1.6 billion. The Liberal Democrats will also invest in the network to improve capacity and reduce overcrowding. In addition to more funding, the party has said it will strip rail companies of franchises if they don’t meet standards and will develop new mutual transport companies in order to foster alternative competition.
In a related announcement, Paula Ferguson, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Winchester and Chandlers Ford, along with Lynda Murphy, candidate for Eastleigh, have joined Edward Davey, Sarah Olney, Munira Wilson, Paul Kohler, Monica Harding, Sue Wixley and Mark Gitsham in writing to South Western Railway and the RMT to demand that they stop the planned strikes immediately. For more details see: We must not have 27 days of rail strikes