English: Train heading towards Gillingham from...

English: Train heading towards Gillingham from Rainham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Southeastern Rail fares will not be increasing as much as feared after the Government announced it would be capping the pricing formula.

The Prime Minister announced that train fares will be capped at inflation plus one per cent. Kent commuters usually face inflation-busting rises of RPI plus three per cent.

The move has been welcomed by Kent MPs and commuter groups.

Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti said: “The Prime Minister’s announcement is good news for hard working commuters living in Gillingham and Rainham.

“Many residents have raised this issue with me and I have campaigned to make sure that people in my constituency are treated fairly.

“I am pleased that the Government is doing what it can to help families and households with the cost of living.”

Chief executive of independent watchdog Passenger Focus, Anthony Smith, said he welcomed the news.

“For hard pressed passengers who rely on the train, especially those who don’t have the option to change the times they travel to take advantage of cheaper options, this will be a relief,” he said.

“However, the result is still a big increase in regulated fares. Passengers in the UK already pay some of the highest fares in Europe and our most recent passenger survey showed that just 42 per cent felt they had got value for money on their ticket. We strongly support the intention to end above-inflation rises entirely as soon as possible: for many passengers this cannot come soon enough.”

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