The Liberal Democrats have announced they will freeze rail fare increases for commuters from Stevenage and Knebworth and season ticket holders for the next five years while fixing the broken fares and ticketing system.

A Liberal Democrat government would cancel the 2.8% rail fare increase planned for December 2018 and freeze Stevenage Constituency commuter fares and season tickets for the entirety of the next five years.

These proposals would save season ticket holders from Stevenage to London £1,712, and from Knebworth to London £1506, over the next five years. This policy is expected to cost approximately £1.6 billion.

The Liberal Democrats would also overhaul ticketing by simplifying the system, looking to create season tickets for part-time commuters and introducing early-bird fares. The party would ensure that all rail franchises apply delay repay compensation for delays of 15 minutes or more.

Lisa Nash, Liberal Democrat candidate for Stevenage said:

“Under the Tories, local commuters have been catastrophically let down. People are paying way over the odds for what has often been an appalling service. The change in timetabling was a shambles and commuters were left paying very high fares for a very poor service. The season ticket is a major expense for constituents who work in London and not all of them are going in to high paid jobs in London.

“The Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future by freezing fares from Stevenage and Knebworth for the next five years, saving local commuters hundreds of pounds. We will properly invest in fixing our creaking rail network to improve capacity and reduce overcrowding, so Stevenage constituency commuters are no longer treated like cattle.

“But this is about more than just providing more funding. We will also strip rail companies of franchises if they don’t meet the standards expected of them, and develop new transport mutual companies to foster alternative competition.”