Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour's Shadow Rail Minister, responding to the Tory-led government’s promise of additional capacity and cheaper fares on the West Coast Main Line as a result of the proposed new high speed rail line, said:
“Whatever the arguments for and against the new high speed rail line, no passenger will be fooled by the Transport Secretary’s empty promise of cheaper fares when they are facing eye-watering increases in the costs of commuting.
“The Tory-led government’s decision to hike ticket prices by 3% above inflation for the next three years in a row is adding to the cost of living crisis facing people up and down the country. To make matters worse they have given back to train companies the right to fiddle the fares by averaging out the price cap, meaning double digit fare rises on many of the most profitable routes.
“If the Tory-led government was serious about tackling overcrowding on the West Coast Main Line then they would be using the forthcoming high speed rail legislation to take the legal powers needed to construct the line to the north of England, rather than just to Birmingham.”