Southampton Labour MPs slam Tory “super-peak” fare blow to commuters

John Denham and Alan Whitehead, Labour MPs for Southampton Itchen and Southampton Test have expressed their deep concern at plans by the Tory-led government to introduce “super-peak” fares to train services.

The Government’s proposed new ‘super-peak’ rail ticket would see commuters forced to pay more to travel on the most popular train services but Southampton MPs John Denham and Alan Whitehead, together with other Labour MPs voted against this in Parliament.

  • Government plans outline this could send ticket prices up by 40 per cent.
  • At a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet this is an unnecessary expense that they could do without.
  • But the Tory-led Government has this week shown itself to be on the side of rail companies and not commuters by refusing to back Labour’s motion to rule out these “super-peak” fares and limit future fare rises.

John Denham and Alan Whitehead voted for the motion and slammed the Tories and Lib Dems for not doing so.

Mr Denham said:

John Denham MP during a meeting in his Westminster office, Portcullis House“Commuters who pay thousands for a season ticket should not be forced off peak-time trains.

“The government is not being realistic.  If people could have changed their commute times easily they would already have done so, to avoid having to stand on crowded trains.

Ministers have caved in to pressure from the private train companies by allowing them to make massive increases to rail fares at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet.

“And if the Government gets away with introducing these new ‘Super Peak’ rail tickets then many working people in Southampton and across Hampshire will be priced out of simply being able to get to their jobs.”

Dr Whitehead said:

Alan Whitehead MP“This will mean transport for the poor and transport for the rich.  The busiest peak time trains will be the preserve of the ultra-wealthy and become no-go areas for most people.

“People in Southampton want to see their Government supporting them instead of making commuting to work a luxury few can afford.  David Cameron should follow Labour’s lead and rule out these ‘Super Peak’ rail tickets, limit rail fare rises and stop putting rail companies’ profits ahead of the needs of hard-working commuters”.

“It’s really disappointing that Tory and Lib Dem MPs voted in the House of Commons against our plan to rule this out.  We will keep urging the government to change their minds and not hit local commuters so hard at this difficult time.”

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