Appeal to Labour over rail fares

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A leading rail union is urging Labour to freeze train fares if it wins the next general election amid fresh claims that passengers have been "ripped off" for years.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said fares had "gone through the roof" since rail privatisation 20 years ago.

A study for the union found the biggest increases over the past 20 years were for a walk-on return from London to Manchester on Virgin - up from £93 to £321 - and a return from London to Bristol on First Great Western - up from £53 to £193 - both rises of 245%.

Other return fares from London to cities such as Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham, Nottingham, Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle had also had also risen by "eye- watering" amounts, according to the union.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: "This proves what every passenger knows in their bones - the private rail industry has been ripping us all off for the past 20 years,

"Fares on the most popular routes have more than trebled, rising three times faster than the rate of inflation.

"The Tories obviously took us all for April Fools in 1994, promising to actually cut fares but allowing them to go through the roof instead.

"We now want Labour to give rail passengers a real break by introducing a one- year freeze from January 2016."

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