MP launches #RailFail campaign over “unacceptably high” fare rises

DEBBIE ABRAHAMS, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, has been campaigning for a better deal for her constituents who use Greenfield station.

The average cost of a season ticket from Greenfield to Huddersfield has risen by £320 – over 24 per cent – since 2010.

Mrs Abrahams, who has made lobbying for fairer trans-Pennine train fares one of her top ten priorities, visited the station to speak to rail users about the issue.

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Debbie Abrahams and supporters at Labour’s #RailFail protest at Greenfield station

She said: “Passengers using Greenfield station have faced unacceptably high fare rises since 2010 under this Tory government.

“On top of this, in the last couple of years, passenger numbers at Greenfield have increased by nearly 8 per cent.

“I have regular contact from constituents with their concerns about the low number of trains running each hour, the frequent overcrowding, the quality of the rolling stock and the ever increasing cost of tickets.

“For commuters travelling to Leeds from Greenfield, this will cost you £14.20. But if commuters are prepared to travel from Marsden, the fare to Leeds is only £5.80.

“The six mile journey between Greenfield and Marsden costs £8.40, more than the entire cost of the 27 mile trip to Leeds. The journey to Manchester from Greenfield or Marsden shows a similar difference.

She added: “On top of this, I am contacted on a daily basis about train delays or cancellations of trains without any notice. It is just not good enough.

“There are also the ongoing issues about the station’s lack of accessibility to people with mobility issues, such as wheelchair users and parents with small children.

“It is unacceptable given that Greenfield has seen the largest percentage increase in usage of any station between Manchester, Huddersfield and Leeds that the Government continues to drag its feet on improving access.”

Referring to the situation across the country Mrs Abrahams added: “In some areas across the UK commuters are paying forty three per cent more as a direct consequence of decisions made by Ministers.

“Fares have risen more than three times faster than wages and passengers on some routes have also been hit by ‘stealth fare rises’ of up to 162 per cent.

“Rail 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 truth is our heavily fragmented railways mean that it takes years longer and costs much than it should to deliver basic improvements.

“The railways need reforms that could be implemented if public ownership was extended to passenger services, but the Tories are persisting with a failed model for purely ideological reasons.”

The average commuter is now paying £2,788 for their season ticket, £594 more than in 2010.

 

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