Passenger dismay at train fares rise

Northern Rail say money from fares is invested in trains
Northern Rail say money from fares is invested in trains
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PASSENGER groups today demanded improved rolling stock to make up for rail fare rises.

The cost of travelling on Northern Rail, which operates services out of Blackpool, has risen by an average of 4.8 per cent from yesterday – the equivalent of around 10p to 20p per journey.

The company has pledged the revenue will go towards improving services.

Paul Nettleton, chairman of the Blackpool and Fylde Rail Users Association, said if fares had to rise, people wanted to see better services to and from the resort.

He said: “The rail industry is very heavily subsidised and the government sees fare rises as a way of getting money back into the coffers.

“They say the money is for better services but I have seen no change over the last few years.

“Until we get electrification, passengers are still going to face over-crowding and old units breaking down.”

Stephen Brookes, chairman of the Blackpool Passenger Focus Panel, said: “I think these latest fare increases are unfair particularly given the quality of trains we have in the north.

“The increasing divide between north and south is appalling and at times I think we should be having a fare cut.”

A spokeswoman for Northern Rail said despite the fare increases, travelling by train was still often cheaper and quicker than using the car or bus, and said they were working towards providing better long term value for passengers.

She added: “Despite these changes, the cost of our average journey will remain just £2.24.

“Money raised through fares goes on to invest in improvements to stations, trains and services.”

Electrification of the Blackpool line is due to be completed by May 2016.