Fury over ‘more for less’ on Bolton's overcrowded trains
NEW Year rail fare rises have been met with fury by campaigners calling for better services for the town.
The price of season tickets and ‘walk up’ fares, where tickets are bought on the day of travel, will go up by an average of three per cent although First Trans Pennine Express will be freezing all advance fares.
The news comes just weeks after FTPE’s changed schedule came in to place, seeing one fewer service travelling through Bolton every hour and a busy morning commuter train to Manchester halved in size.
Bolton North East MP David Crausby has said the rises are “rubbing salt in the wounds” of commuters but FTPE say the increased fares are helping to fund rail improvements, including the electrification of much of the network across the north of England.
Mr Crausby said: “It is just not acceptable, they should not be charging more for what is a poor standard of service for many passengers.
“They should do one of two things, improve the service or lower prices, not charge more.”
His comments were echoed by regular rail user Dale Haslam who said: “I already pay more than £120 a month to get to and from work, so this rise will be another blow to my household budget.”
FTPE will be introducing an additional 30 per cent capacity to its network in 2014 with the deployment of a £60m new fleet of trains coming in to service.
Managing director Nick Donovan said: “I am delighted that our promise of investment in increased capacity is beginning to be realised, with the first of our new electric trains coming into service “We recognise that any fare increase is not ideal for passengers but it is important to continually invest in the railway. Importantly for customers, many of the fares that FTPE control will be frozen and held at 2013 prices.”
The Bolton News launched the Let’s Get Back On Track campaign calling for a dramatic improvement to the town’s “cattle truck” rail services now First Trans-Pennine Express runs fewer services to and from Manchester as a result of major work to electrify the Manchester to Preston line.
A busy morning commuter train has also had its carriages reduced from six to just three. To support the Let’s Get Back On Track campaign, sign the petition which is in our town centre offices and in shops and newsagents around Bolton.
You can also sign an online petition on our website, the boltonnews.co.uk.
Forms can be picked up from The Bolton News office in the Wellsprings building next to the Town Hall.
Please return completed petitions to Let’s Get Back On Track, Editorial Department, The Bolton News, The Wellsprings, Civic Centre, Bolton, BL1 1AR.
If you would like to have a petition in your shop, call 01204 537239. We will be presenting the petition to rail bosses.
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