14 June 2011 4:36 PM

£10,000 commuter fare coming down the track

Maria Eagle may not be the most high profile member of the shadow Cabinet.

She is shadow transport secretary, for those who do not know.

But while Labour has been accused of being policy-lite, she has come up with a firm commitment to oppose the Government's decision to allow regulated rail fares - which include commuter, season and saver tickets - to soar by RPI inflation plus three per cent.

With inflation staying stubbornly high, the new formula means that commuters into London from places like Swindon could be paying around £10,000-a-year by 2015 to get to work once Tube fares are included.

Ms Eagle has put herself firmly on the side of commuters.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, quite rightly, is quick to point out that she is yet to come up with plans of her own for funding the railways as the Government seeks to sort out the disastrous economic legacy inherited from Labour.

He accuses her of jumping on a bandwagon. But he has yet to convince commuters that the fare rises are a price worth paying given the "cattle truck" style conditions on many peak services.  

Nicholas Cecil 


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