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Transport Minister: 'We have to invest in the future'.

Summary: Transport Minister Norman Baker admits he "wants to see the end of above-inflation rises" but says "we have to invest in the future".

Transport Minister Norman Baker admits he "wants to see the end of above-inflation rises," as commuters face hikes in rail fares for another year running.

Mr Baker said he sympathised with travellers facing increases and admitted the fare structure was "not ideal".

With commuters spending an average 4.2 per cent more for their season tickets, Mr Baker added that the annual fare-rise policy has been "inherited from the last Government".

The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) said the rises were paying for "more trains and faster services" - despite delays on a number of key routes including the Heathrow Express and the Gatwick Express.

Atoc say it was the Government, not the train companies, that made the fares policy.

But shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said the Government had "caved in" to train companies by allowing some commuter fares to rise by more than 4.2 per cent as long as that was the overall average.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2012. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Jan 11, 2013
Words:205
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