Rail fair rise a major local fear

Driffield Railway Station

Driffield Railway Station

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A Driffield based rail campaigner has claimed an increase in fares could see a significant reduction of tourism for East Yorkshire.

Rail passengers face an increase of 3.5% in train fares in 2015.

The fare rise is determined by adding 1% to the just-published Retial Prices INdex inflation figure for July, which is 2.5%.

Train companies also have the option to add another 2% to some fares.

David Walford, of the Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership, said: “I feel that Rail North’s decentralisation formula could lead to a significant downgrading of services in neighbouring areas in preference to those of Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.”

They have no interest in certain areas such as East Yorkshire which puts us in a difficult situation.

He said: “The direct train from Hull to Scarborough runs every 30 minutes running through Driffield and Bridlington which is a good service and it brings a lot of tourism into the area. It is these services that we need to protect.

“An increase in our fares would consequently be subsidising changes and improvements to West and South Yorkshire trains.”

Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has come under pressure to cap rail fare increases as figures show ticket prices are rising almost four times faster than wages.

With the Government committed to setting fares at one per cent above inflation, commuters between York and Leeds could see their season ticket go up in January by more than £70 to £2,097 while travellers between Malton and Hull will be paying £3,373, up from £3,256. Northern Rail passengers in Yorkshire are facing higher prices next month as the company introduces evening peak tickets.

Michael Roberts, director general of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), said: “Money from fares pays for more trains, better stations and faster services on what is already Europe’s fastest growing, safest and most improved railway. Over the next five years, £38 billion will be invested in improving the network.

“Government decides the average change to regulated fares, including Season tickets, each year. For a decade, successive governments have regulated commuter fares so as to increase the share of rail’s costs paid by passengers rather than taxpayers.

“Our commitment is to enable future government fares decisions which work best for passengers, by continuing to get more out of every pound we spend and encouraging more train travel to pay for services and improvements.”

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