Dawn Primarolo MP's reply to constituents regarding recent rail fare increases:
"Thank you for your recent email regarding rail fares. I share your concerns and understand why passengers are unhappy to have faced fare increases of up to 2.5% earlier this month.
These latest price rises follow previous substantial increases in rail fares in recent years. Overall, season tickets have gone up by 20% - and in some cases by up to 30% - since 2010, leaving some passengers with no choice but to pay thousands of pounds more to commute to work on increasingly crowded trains.
I believe the Government should stand up for passengers and commuters by introducing a simplified ticketing system with a strictly enforced cap on all regulated fares. A future Labour Government would introduce such a cap on annual rail fare increases as well as a legal right to be sold the cheapest available ticket for a journey.
On a wider note, Labour is clear that we need to reform the railways to get a better deal for taxpayers and passengers. A future Labour Government would review the whole franchising process and legislate to allow a public sector operator to bid for future franchises on a level playing field. We would devolve decisions over the running of regional and local rail services and ensure passengers have a greater say. Labour also has plans to tackle the monopoly market for rail rolling stock and we want to create a single ‘guiding mind’ for the railways (incorporating Network Rail and a new representative passenger rail body) to: contract routes; co-ordinate services; oversee stations fares and ticketing; and ensure customer satisfaction across the network.
Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.
Labour MP for Bristol South"