Greg challenges Labour MPs over lowering rail fares on nationalised East Coast line

November 10, 2009 3:15 PM

Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman Greg Stone has challenged Newcastle's Labour MPs to support Early Day Motion 1852 which has so far attracted support from 83 MPs of all parties. However, none of Newcastle's Labour MPs have signed up, despite the Government's recent takeover of the main East Coast route serving the city.

Greg has written to the city's Labour MPs (see below) and is planning to table a motion in support of this campaign at Newcastle City Council's next meeting.

Dear Newcastle MP,

I urge you to sign EDM 1852: REVIEW OF RAIL FARE REGULATION.

High train fares are a real barrier which stops people taking the train and forces them to use their cars or take short-haul domestic flights instead. If we are to meet our carbon reduction targets, we must help get people out of their cars and off planes. The green choice must be the easy choice.

EDM 1852 states: That this House notes that the UK has the highest train fares in Europe; further notes that the Government is cutting its financial contribution to rail and making passengers pay a greater share, and that this policy leads to fare increases on regulated and unregulated tickets in real terms every year, which will mean ticket price rises in real terms in 2010, even though there may be a nominal decrease in some tickets due to deflation; further notes that rail is a low carbon mode of transport; recognises that modal shift to public transport could achieve significant carbon reduction; and calls on the Government to review current rail fares regulation and policy, with a view to reducing fares to encourage more people to take the train instead of driving or flying.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Greg Stone

Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Newcastle East