Rail fare rise is '˜beyond a joke'

Labour councillors and MPs campaigned at Doncaster train station against increases in rail fares.

Thursday, 5th January 2017, 10:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 3:00 am
Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winteron and Doncaster councillor Glyn Jones campaign with other Labour party representatives against increases in rail fares at Doncaster train station on Turesday January 3 3017.

Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton and Councillor Glyn Jones were among a team of 15 campaigners who were at the town centre station between 7am and 8.30am yesterday morning to speak to commuters and voice their concerns.

The action came on the first day that increased rail fares were introduced across the country.

Fares from all operators have risen – for example Virgin Trains East Coast fares have risen by 4.9 per cent l.

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As a result, an annual season ticket between Doncaster and Scunthorpe now costs £1,976, a 27 per cent increase since 2010.

Seven years ago, the price of the same ticket was £416 less, £1,560.

Other routes to and from the borough are also affected by the changes.

Rosie Winterton said: “Passengers share our anger at the Tory Government’s mismanagement of our railways. The cost of getting to work for many is now beyond a joke. Commuters have faced staggering fare rises since 2010 . Fares have risen more than three times faster than wages. Passengers were always told that higher fares were necessary to fund investment, but vital projects have been delayed by years and essential maintenance works have been put on hold.

“The railways need reforms that could be implemented if public ownership was extended to passenger services.”

According to the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, around 97p in every pound paid by passengers goes back into running and improving services.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the Government was delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for more than a century and had to balance the cost between the taxpayer and the passenger.

Virgin Trains East Coast said there would be 10,000 more discounted fares every week.