Posts Tagged ‘election campaign 2015’

Winning the election street by street – and station by station too

11/01/2015, 09:00:05 AM

by Michael Dugher

It’s the first time since the 1920s that working people will be worse off at the end of a parliament than they were at the beginning”. That was how Ed Miliband summed up the cost-of-living crisis that continues to engulf hard working families across the country in his big speech earlier this week.  And this was brought into sharp focus for rail commuters returning to work last week who’ve seen their fares go up by more than 20 per cent since David Cameron became prime minister.

Ed Miliband is determined that Labour will speak to four million people before polling day in this year’s general election. That’s why Labour’s transport team have been out in recent weeks talking to the hard-pressed members of travelling public at bus and railway stations up and down the country.

This week I was with Labour’s brilliant local candidate Matt Turmaine at Watford Junction railway station where commuters are having to dip even deeper into their pockets just to get to work on increasingly overcrowded trains.  Season tickets from London to Watford junction have increased by £528 since 2010 – a rise of 22 per cent. Commuters further up the London Midland line travelling from Milton Keynes have endured a 28 per cent hike – an increase of over £1000 – something Labour’s Andrew Pakes and Emily Darlington have recently exposed.

On top of this, people across the country have been hit with stealth fare rises. The government has imposed fare rises on the Northern franchise of up 162 per cent. In my own constituency, in Barnsley East, we have been clobbered by increases of up to 25 per cent, as the government has allowed the operator to extend peak hours. At the opposite end of the country, in Brighton we have revealed government plans for more stealth fare rises on the Brighton main line through eliminating cheaper tickets, which could leave some passengers paying £664 more for their season tickets.


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