More rush hour trains arriving

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RAIL commuters travelling from Doncaster to Leeds had a more pleasant journey today after learning they can look forward to better services this winter.

They are set to benefit from extra carriages on trains serving the route, the Government announced today.

From December 2011, an additional 20 coaches mean there will be 2,000 extra seats each day on trains in and out of Leeds.

Northern Rail will be able to run more trains at busy times on the lines from Skipton, Ilkley and Doncaster via Wakefield into Leeds and to use longer trains on existing services.

The Leeds area carriages form part of the 650 additional coaches the Government is introducing on the rail network by 2014, with a total of 2,100 promised over the next few years.

The Government has announced that the average annual fare rise for regulated fares, which include season tickets, will increase in January 2012 from the RPI inflation rate plus one per cent to RPI plus three per cent.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said today: “Even at a time of severe pressure on public spending, we cannot afford not to invest in Britain’s future - and that’s why we are investing more than £10 million in providing these extra carriages for Yorkshire commuters. They will ease crowding and provide passengers with more comfortable journeys.

“The tough decisions the Government has taken on rail fares allow us to continue to deliver this sort of much needed improvement to the railways.

“We are investing in 2,100 extra carriages to increase capacity across the rail network and in the longer term we have plans for a high-speed rail network which will ease overcrowding and make our railways fit for the 21st century.”

Northern Rail managing director Ian Bevan said: “We are delighted with today’s announcement. We’ve attracted 36pc more passengers since we began operating in 2004 and have been working closely with the Department for Transport and other partners to introduce much needed additional capacity.

“These carriages will enable us to provide an extra 600,000 seats every year for passengers on peak time services in and around Leeds from December.”

The five Class 322 electric trains will deliver additional peak time services and allow for more diesel units to strengthen services on the Calder Valley line.