August 20th, 2023.

Lewes Lib Dems release:

The cost of an annual season ticket for Lewes commuters could rise by up to £466.20 next year, the highest amount in over a decade, analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

It comes after this week's figures show that Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation in July reached 9%. This is the figure normally used to increase rail fares from next March.

Lewes' Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate, James MacCleary, is calling on the government to freeze rail fares, after ministers have refused to say by how much rail tickets will rise by next year.

Analysis from the Liberal Democrats of rail fare projections show that Lewes could be one of the worst impacted areas in the country by a rise in ticket prices. Annual season ticket prices between Lewes and London could rise by up to a staggering £466.20 to a total of £5,646.20.

The rise comes despite disrupted services over the past year due to industrial action and the Government’s plans to close ticket offices at stations around the country.

Day travelcards for those travelling on national rail services to London are also set to be scrapped, meaning Lewes passengers will pay more for tube and bus services in the capital.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for rail fares to be frozen for five years. The party is also calling for a rethink over planned ticket office closures and for the Government to finally resolve the strike action disrupting services.

James MacCleary, Liberal Democrat candidate for Lewes constituency, said: “Like many local residents I commuted to London from Lewes for years. This government has allowed rail fares to increase to unmanageable levels. They say they want people to use trains but their behaviour suggests otherwise.

"I am fighting for a fair deal for commuters across our area. It's not just families in Lewes who will be left forking out even more for train journeys in the middle of a cost of living crisis but also in Polegate, Newhaven, Plumpton and Seaford.

“Ministers cannot keep turning a blind eye to these problems, especially given people are paying more for less on our rail network with more delays, cancellations and their failure to deal with the strikes.

“Local MP, Maria Caulfield, is a government minister. She has been quick to criticise measures to reduce emissions from cars, but will not do anything to support rail users. I hope she will support this fare freeze and put her hard pressed constituents ahead of her Government job for a change.

“We should be making clean forms of transport cheaper, yet Ms Caulfield and her government are determined to make rail more expensive than ever before.”
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