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Labour manifesto pledges: rail fare freeze and devolution to "bear down on fares"

Lee Baker
13 April 2015

Labour's General Election manifesto today commits the party to a rail fare freeze in the coming year whilst the party reviews the franchising system to "put the public interest first".

Labour leader Ed Miliband attacks the Conservatives for an unfunded five-year rail fare freeze, as he outlines a commitment that all pledges in his party's manifesto will not require additional borrowing. The manifesto highlights a 20% hike in rail fares under the coalition, a £211m pledge paid for by delaying two of 127 planned strategic road schemes, Labour says.

The two projects are an upgrade for the A27 and for the A358, the economic case for both, Labour said, was "still uncertain".

The manifesto also says that one of the aims of the "biggest devolution of power in 100 years" for England will be to allow city and county regions to "bear down on fares," as well as to integrate trains, buses, trams and cycling". 

And it commits the party to:

  • "Common sense spending reductions" in unprotected departments - including transport - in order to "balance the books";
  • Supporting "long-term investment in strategic roads" and "addressing the neglect of local roads"
  • "Promoting cycling" - with shadow transport secretary spelling out the detail here
  • Making a "swift decision" on "expanding airport capacity"  

The cost of rail fares has become the single biggest transport issue in the General Election. The Lib Dems say today the party is committed to "ending the era of above-inflation rises" and the Greens have delcared they want a 10% cut in fares, deriding the Conservative five-year freeze as "a half-measure".

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