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Rail Fare Increases

Volume 554: debated on Thursday 29 November 2012

14. What recent progress his Department has made on mitigating the effect on rail passengers of rail fare increases. (130598)

We announced in October that the Government will again cap the increase in regulated fares at RPI plus 1% for rail fares and Transport for London in January 2013 and 2014. This will benefit over quarter of a million annual season ticket holders. Many more holders of weekly and monthly season tickets will also see lower fares and some commuters will be over £200 better off over the two years.

People in my constituency are concerned about the cost of rail fares, but those who use Thameslink are also concerned about its speedy progression. What reassurance can the Minister give them that the tendering process for the project was conducted in the right and proper manner, and that the project remains on schedule?

Detailed evidence regarding the tendering process for the Thameslink rolling stock was given by the Transport Committee in September 2011. That confirmed that the requirements of EU procurement law had been met. The rolling stock procurement process is working towards commercial close in December and financial close early in the new year. Good progress has been made already on the infrastructure programme. Blackfriars and Farringdon stations are both operational, and enabling work at London Bridge is ongoing.