Passengers’ anger over rail fare rise

PASSENGERS, transport chiefs and unions in Bolton have criticised a rise in rail fares.

Prices rose above inflation for the 10th year in a row yesterday, with hikes of an average of 3.9 per cent across England, Wales and Scotland.

Transport minister Norman Baker said rises were needed to help fund what he called “the biggest rail investment programme since the 19th century”.

In Bolton, a weekly season ticket has risen from £22.70 to £23.70, an increase of 4.41 per cent.

A peak time return from Bolton to Manchester Piccadilly has risen from £5.90 to £6.10, an increase of 3.39 per cent, and an off peak single has gone up from £3.60 to £3.80, a rise of 5.56 per cent.

Bolton transport campaigner Preva Crossley said: “It can have a big effect on commuters because there’s not a lot of money around but people have still got to use public transport.

“We need more trains on the tracks.

“Why should a person have to pay for a ticket for the train but not be able to get a seat?

“We need better rolling stock, but we also need more barriers at stations so people don’t get away with not paying.”

Cllr David Chadwick, the borough’s representative on the Transport for Greater Manchester committee, said: “Regardless of what the rise is, it’s going to cause problems.

“It’s the fault of successive governments — I’m not just blaming the coalition.

“It’s much cheaper in Europe. I was in Belgium and it’s dirt cheap to travel between major conurbations.”

Joan Pritchard-Jones, adult services convenor for public service union Bolton Unison, said: “In Bolton our members are in the third year of a pay freeze and are already bracing themselves for a massive hike in gas and electric bills, in some cases 11 per cent.

“Many people rely entirely on public transport to get around.

“Big increases in rail fares will be a massive blow, particularly to those who commute to and from work.”

A Northern Rail spokesman said: “We understand that these are difficult financial times for our customers, which is why we will continue to work with the government and the wider rail industry to drive down the cost of running the railway to provide better long-term value for money for passengers and taxpayers.”

Comments (5)

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9:50am Thu 3 Jan 13

BWFC71 says...

Can the Norther Rail spokesperson please explain why that one of the parent train companies (i.e. Abellio - which is Nederlands Spoorwegen) only has had a 3% pay rise on ALL fares in The Netherlands, operating many more new trains in the last 3 years than what Northern rail has had over the last 10 years and increased services - where a normal train is either 6 double-decker carriages or 8-10 single-decker carriages, whereas we have 2 coach cars which are actually smaller than 1 Dutch single-decker carriage!!!
Can the Norther Rail spokesperson please explain why that one of the parent train companies (i.e. Abellio - which is Nederlands Spoorwegen) only has had a 3% pay rise on ALL fares in The Netherlands, operating many more new trains in the last 3 years than what Northern rail has had over the last 10 years and increased services - where a normal train is either 6 double-decker carriages or 8-10 single-decker carriages, whereas we have 2 coach cars which are actually smaller than 1 Dutch single-decker carriage!!! BWFC71

10:23am Thu 3 Jan 13

MarkAllRead says...

The Northern Rail train from Bolton to Victoria this morning was 20 minutes late. This appeared to be due to it having to push a broken train. Northern Rail consistently use old and dilapidated trains which are poor, noisy and uncomfortable when they work and quite frequently fail causing delays and cancellations. They also seem to skimp on staff costs meaning that the conductor is also responsible for opening the doors (which have to be done at the rear of the train), leading to a delay opening the doors at every station and the train running later and later from each station. This has been the case for literally years, despite massive increases in the amount we've been paying. Where is this money going?
The Northern Rail train from Bolton to Victoria this morning was 20 minutes late. This appeared to be due to it having to push a broken train. Northern Rail consistently use old and dilapidated trains which are poor, noisy and uncomfortable when they work and quite frequently fail causing delays and cancellations. They also seem to skimp on staff costs meaning that the conductor is also responsible for opening the doors (which have to be done at the rear of the train), leading to a delay opening the doors at every station and the train running later and later from each station. This has been the case for literally years, despite massive increases in the amount we've been paying. Where is this money going? MarkAllRead

1:46pm Thu 3 Jan 13

MalcM59 says...

It's all been said so many times previously...The local rail service is the proverbial crock of.... Hopefully the franchises for Northern Rail and Last Transpennine will be revoked at the next renewal bids, however as long as it's all done on a lowest cost basis, I can't see that happening.
No signs of the Metrolink ever reaching the biggest satellite town in Greater Manchester, and I'm just waiting for the announcement that the pot of money supposedly put aside for the electrification of the line from Manchester to Euxton will suddenly evaporate once they've finished the electrification of the Manchester - Liverpool route; thereby reducing the Bolton route to a neglected (but still overcrowded) branch line.
It's all been said so many times previously...The local rail service is the proverbial crock of.... Hopefully the franchises for Northern Rail and Last Transpennine will be revoked at the next renewal bids, however as long as it's all done on a lowest cost basis, I can't see that happening. No signs of the Metrolink ever reaching the biggest satellite town in Greater Manchester, and I'm just waiting for the announcement that the pot of money supposedly put aside for the electrification of the line from Manchester to Euxton will suddenly evaporate once they've finished the electrification of the Manchester - Liverpool route; thereby reducing the Bolton route to a neglected (but still overcrowded) branch line. MalcM59

1:57pm Thu 3 Jan 13

boltonnut says...

Could some one inform me if the Nederlands has free transport for senior citizens,and is this normal in the rest of Europe.Thank you.
Could some one inform me if the Nederlands has free transport for senior citizens,and is this normal in the rest of Europe.Thank you. boltonnut

2:34pm Thu 3 Jan 13

VictoriaJane87 says...

More than half the trains I got last year (and I get a lot of trains) were late, some by a couple of minutes, some by 10 - 15 minutes. They seem to like cancelling Sunday trains to work on the lines. And STILL no extra carriages have been put on during peak times. How can they justify the increase in fare?
More than half the trains I got last year (and I get a lot of trains) were late, some by a couple of minutes, some by 10 - 15 minutes. They seem to like cancelling Sunday trains to work on the lines. And STILL no extra carriages have been put on during peak times. How can they justify the increase in fare? VictoriaJane87

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