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Rail fares fixed for commuters

Blackpool North Rail Station, Blackpool. Below: Paul Nettleton and Natalie Wyatt.

Blackpool North Rail Station, Blackpool. Below: Paul Nettleton and Natalie Wyatt.

  • by Alex Ross
 

ROCKETING rail fares are set to be fixed during the next two years after the Government announced a U-turn on prices.

Plans to hold the price of tickets at one per cent above inflation rather than three per cent could mean savings as high as £200 for commuters travelling into Blackpool.

The news is encouraging for the resort’s tourism sector, which was last hit by rising costs in January.

Paul Nettleton, chairman of Fylde coast rail users, told The Gazette it was good to see campaigning had worked over the issue.

He added: “This is going to be a good thing and it shows the Government is finally listening to passengers.

“We have probably got the most expensive railway system in Europe now and people can only take so much.

“I know it’s expensive to use a car but this means passengers can either go back to the railways or use a car as an alternative.”

Despite assurances from the Government about the future of pricing, Mr Nettleton says he is not getting his hopes up about stopping further increases in the new year.

He added: “They haven’t made it perfectly clear that prices won’t go up in January and until that statement is made, there’s still going to be concerns about pricing.

“The Government has got to go a bit further away from what they’ve done.

“It’s certainly an encouraging early sign but I would like to see lower fares because this idea needs to go further.”

Natalie Wyatt, managing director of Marketing Blackpool, said it may help boost tourism numbers in Blackpool if people find it cheaper to get to the resort.

She added: “This is good news for holidaymakers and people planning to make a trip to Blackpool.

“Obviously we welcome any announcements that ultimately offer our visitors best value for money.”

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