Local rail passengers face fare hikes as part of government money-raising plan

From this week, residents in Rotherham and Barnsley will face fare hikes of up to 25% as Northern Rail removes off-peak train fares on some services.

The rail operator said that it was being forced into making the change as a result of government pressure to raise extra revenues as part of its franchise agreement.

It will mean that passengers travelling between 4pm and 6.30pm on weekdays will be charged fares at peak rates. A day return from Rotherham to Doncaster will rise from £5.30 to £6.30, and the same ticket from Thurnscoe to Rotherham will rise from £5.70 to £7.

Commenting on the fare rise, John Healey MP said:

“We have already had an increase in ticket prices in January. This is the second rise in a year and a hard blow for passengers. It adds to the cost of living crisis for many people because wages are simply not rising to cover household bills.

“Rather than put a lid on fares as Labour would do, it seems that Ministers have been encouraging train companies to hike prices. This is totally wrong. The average annual pay packet of a full-time worker in our area has fallen by £2,000 since David Cameron became Prime Minister. The last thing people need is for the government to be increasing transport costs.

“Tory rail Ministers simply have no idea how hard people are struggling – and this suggests they don’t care either.

“This is yet another example of Ministers’ view of the train services that so many people rely on. We’ve seen year after year fare rises, service cuts, a botched contract for the West Coast line and an ideological drive to put East Cost back into private hands even though it has paid over £600m back into the public purse. That’s why Labour’s plans for a strict cap on fare rises and reform of our railways so they serve passengers, not profit are so important.”