New Year rail fare increases mean Five Towns commuters have seen some of the biggest increases in the country over the last eighteen months according to figures uncovered by local MP Yvette Cooper.
Figures from the Avantix Traveller Database that is used to show prices on train operator websites and the trainline.com shows that tickets from Knottingley to Wakefield have risen by 33% since September 2014 while a return from Pontefract to Leeds has risen by 35% over the same period. Tickets from Castleford to Leeds have risen by 35% and to Wakefield by nearly 20% since last year.
Local MP Yvette Cooper has condemned the scale of price hikes at a time when pay still isn't rising and commuters are still getting squeezed. She pointed to funded plans that could have kept rail fares frozen this year.
“For prices to rocket by a third in just over a year is a real problem for local people. More and more people have to commute to work, yet rising fares are making that tougher and tougher. With more jobs being sucked out of towns and into cities, these sudden price hikes are really unfair on people living in towns across Yorkshire and the north.
“The government talk about a Northern Powerhouse, but it’s hardly going to take off if it gets harder to afford to travel to the major cities. We need proper regulation of rail fares to stop these rocketing prices. We set out funded plans that could have frozen rail fares this year, but the Tories ignored them. Government ministers are completely out of touch on the rising cost of public transport. Prices have risen three times faster than wages under their watch.”