MP leads protest at Greenfield train station against fare rises

DEBBIE Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, has led a protest at Greenfield train station against the 3.1 per cent average rise in fares across the UK.

She was joined by supporters at the station to highlight the increase, which comes after months of disruptions and delays to local services on a new timetable.

Mrs Abrahams said: “We’re protesting to mark an average increase in rail fares of 3.1 per cent at a time when there’s absolute chaos in our rail transport services.

“What I’m demanding of Chris Grayling is that the franchises for Northern and for TransPennine Express should be brought back into public ownership.

“The standard of rail travel they are providing for rail passengers is unacceptable.

MP Debbie Abrahams was joined by supporters in a protest at Greenfield station about rail fare rises

“Recent analysis of Government data shows in the four-and-a-half years since the Northern Powerhouse agenda was set, transport spending per person has increased twice as much in London as in the North of England. 

“The IPPR North think tank has found that while the capital has seen a £326 per person increase in public spending, the North has seen an increase of just £146.

“These are shocking figures which continue to show the under investment in our local transport infrastructure.”

Mrs Abrahams added: “Regulated fares, which include peak fares and season tickets, have risen by 36 per cent since 2010 – two-and-a-half times faster than wages.

“The average commuter will now be paying £2,980 for their season ticket, £786 more than in 2010. 

“This is at time when train punctuality has fallen to a 13-year low with one in seven trains missing their target of arriving within five minutes of scheduled time. 

“Prices are rising, performance is in decline, promised investment has been scrapped and industrial relations have worsened. 

“Government rail policy has not delivered affordable fares, decent services or value for money for taxpayers.”

Mrs Abrahams has also been campaigning to get better rolling stock and access for people with mobility issues at Greenfield station.

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