Are Labour planning to freeze rail fares?

Rumours that Labour are considering plans to freeze rail fares have been circulating in the past twenty four hours, with both the Evening Standard and The Times (£) running stories alluding to such a policy, while the Financial Times had a similar report a couple of weeks ago. All of this is taking place amidst an ongoing debate within the party about the future of the railways.

Following on from the popularity of the energy price freeze announcement last year, and spurred on by energy companies’ recent comments on the issue, Miliband is said to be open to the idea of a similar cap for railways – potentially paid for by allowing rail franchises to lapse back into public ownership.

Supporters of the policy claim it could help to win over swing voters in all-important marginal constituencies in the south, where commuters will have seen their annual season tickets rise by 20% to £5,000 over the course of this Parliament by the time of the next election.

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