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Rail Fare Hike: Portsmouth families will pay the price again

In recent days we’ve seen the announcement that rail fares will go up by another 3.8%, meaning average fares will rise to an eye watering 48.9% more than they were in 2010.

In Mr Johnson’s own Uxbridge constituency the cost of an annual season ticket from West Drayton to London Paddington has risen by £715 since 2010.

I’m clear that this announcement piles more misery onto our city’s commuters and families and will do nothing to stimulate demand once we come out of this pandemic.

Continuous fare rises undermine urgent action to tackle the climate emergency by pricing people off the railway.

Portsmouth’s passengers are paying more and more each year to travel on increasingly overcrowded and unreliable trains with average fares have risen twice as fast as wages.

This is just the latest example of the Government rail betrayal.

Labour recently forced a vote in the House of Commons demanding Boris Johnson reverses the North’s rail betrayal however Tory MPs including those in the red wall seats voted against plans to force the PM to stick to his promises.

The scaling back of Northern Powerhouse Rail, coupled with the scrapping of the Eastern leg of HS2 is a double blow for our regions.

A once-in-a-generation chance to transform opportunity across the whole country, rebalancing the economy and making it work for working people looks set to be lost.

The worst part is that the communities who will feel the brunt of years of broken promises, empty words and no action are at the same time being squeezed by the Conservatives’ tax hikes and rising bills, as those with the broadest shoulders remain largely untouched.

The Prime Minister was elected on a promise to level the playing field, to make things better for households across the country.  The reality is, he has pocketed that support in the knowledge he would go back on his word. There is another way.

Labour would reform our transport networks, so they work for the people and communities who rely on them and ensure they are fit-for-purpose for the economy of the future – with investment spread more evenly across the country and young people no longer having to leave the places they grew up in to find work.

Most importantly, Labour would put working people first, using the power of government and the skill of business to ensure good quality jobs are created here in Britain – in every region.

Stephen Morgan MP