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25 March 2013, 13:39
Passengers at Watford Junction station have been given the chance to join a new campaign against even higher peak-time rail fares.
It's as the government consider raising some rush-hour fares by up to 40 per cent so more money can be raised for major work like the High Speed Two line planned between London and the north, and the improvement of commuter services.
But protestors say the review is unfair on hard-pressed passengers and many people don't have a choice on when to travel.
Maria Eagle, the shadow Secretary of State for Transport, who launched the campaign at Watford Station on Monday 25 March 2013, told Heart: "After David Cameron's broken promise to hard pressed commuters to cap this year’s rail fare rises, the misery for passengers is set to continue with the Government’s plans to introduce new Super Peak tickets.
"At a time when transport costs are rising and people across the country are facing a real squeeze, commuters paying thousands for a season ticket should not be forced off trains during peak time. If they get away with introducing these new Super Peak tickets, the Government's plans suggest that peak prices could go up by a staggering 40 per cent on top of planned fares rises over just five years.
"This out of touch Government seems intent on pricing many commuters off the services they rely on to get to work. That is why the Labour Party is campaigning against these plans and is calling on the Government to think again."
In at statement to Heart, the Department for Transport said: "Family budgets are being squeezed which is why we have cut planned fare rises from 3% to 1% above inflation until 2014. The popularity of rail travel continues to grow, which is why we have embarked on one of the biggest investment programmes in our railways since the Victorian era.
"As this investment continues, the Fares and Ticketing Review has been looking in detail at how it can provide better value for money for both taxpayers and farepayers, including how fares might be used to spread demand more evenly. The work is planned to conclude later this year."