Yvette Cooper MP

Working hard for Normanton, Pontefract, Castleford & Knottingley

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Yvette condemns massive fare increases for Five Towns commuters

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.”

ENDS

Reactions

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commented 2016-04-14 15:50:26 +0100
The 5 towns on top of this increase has some of the worst services, particularly in terms of trains with infrequent services on old rolling stock on bad tracks serving often dilapidated stations. These fare increase clearly aren’t being spent to improve the network as there have been little visible improvements in the last 15 years on the train quality or frequency, with only limited infrastructure improvements. When you contrast this within even West Yorkshire (which is poor compared to many other regions) the disparity is obvious to see.

A plan specific for the 5 towns rail needs to be drawn up and funded to correct this imbalance, otherwise nothing will change (WYITA et al are full of excuses but no action) – there is masses of potential given the area is central to yorkshire as a whole but being on the fringes of West Yorkshire has been to the 5 towns detriment leading to decline of quality, frequency and overall investment that provide this poor situation that all our residents suffer because of.

@yvette – if you want to coordinate something within the 5 towns on this matter I’d certainly be on board, no pun intended.

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