French transport minister pressures SNCF to cap ticket price hikes

AP - Virginia Mayo

France's transport minister has called on the SNCF rail network to implement a "price shield" for train tickets as they are set to rise in 2023 due to the explosion in energy costs.

Speaking on French television on Sunday, Clément Beaune said that he hoped the increase in ticket prices "would be less than inflation".

The annual inflation rate in France accelerated for the first time in three months to 6.2 percent in October, the highest since 1985, from 5.6 percent in September.

Beaune added that commuters who use the train on a daily basis – such as young people who use low-cost 'Ouigo' service – should be protected.

In mid-September, SNCF boss Jean-Pierre Farandou said that the electricity bill for SNCF Voyageurs would rise from €1.6 to €1.7 billion in 2023.

"If we were to pass on [increasing prices] directly to the cost of the ticket, we would have to increase TGV tickets by 10 percent," Mr Farandou said.

He was also keen to reassure train passengers that SNCF would not pass-on "100 percent of the cost to customers".

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