The Evening Standard have reported that high-level Tory minister are pressuring Chancellor George Osborne to cap average rail fare increases next year so that they don’t exceed inflation.
In January, fail fares could rise up to nine times more than the average wage increase. It seems many Tories are worried that public discontent over such rapidly rising rail prices could manifest itself at the general election in May.
In response, Patrick McLoughlin Secretary of State for Transport will allegedly lobby Osborne to introduce a cap ahead of the Autumn Statement – which is when the decision on fares will most likely be made.
Stephen Hammond, former transport minister (until a month ago), and Conservative MP, has said: “I would be very surprised if the Government is not looking at doing what it did last year and helping hard-pressed commuters. It’s something I would definitely urge them to do.”
Are you listening, George?