Mark Reckless MP asked the Secretary of State for Transport to explain the Government’s policy: “on the application of a cap on fare rises on train services provided by Southeastern under its franchise agreement which enables a different rate of fare rises to that applied by other franchisees” and requested that the Minister make a statement on the issue.
The Government Minister replied that: “The Southeastern Franchise Agreement agreed by the last Government specified that from 2007-2011, regulated fares on the network would be capped at RPI +3 per cent”. She explained that: “next year will be the final one in which Southeastern has a different fares regime to most other parts of the network. From 2012, RPI +3 will become the standard formula for prices regulated by the Department for Transport, including Southeastern”.
Mark Reckless said: “I believe that Kent was not given a fair deal by the last government, which agreed a contract with Southeastern providing for our fares to rise faster than elsewhere. This will stop after January and Southeastern will henceforth be treated the same as the rest of the country. I hope that Southeastern, having been given four years of higher fares than other providers, will now improve their service to passengers”.