Rail ticket hikes spark concern among Bradford passengers

A train service bound for Leeds departs from Bradford Interchange

A train service bound for Leeds departs from Bradford Interchange

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

CONCERNS have been raised in Bradford after it emerged that rail passengers will face average season ticket price rises of 3.5 per cent in January following the announcement of the latest inflation figures.

The new-year rises are based on the previous July's Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation rate plus an additional one per cent - and the RPI rate was today revealed as 2.5 per cent.

Commuters can expect to spend an average of 3.5 per cent extra in January unless the Government, decides, as it did for January 2014, to restrict any rise to the RPI figure alone.

James Vasey of Bradford Rail Users' Group warned however of a double-whammy for West Yorkshire passengers as the Government was instructing future operators of the Northern Rail franchise, to increase fares further in the region as they were significantly below that of other regions.

He added in relation to the RPI announcement: "The Government needs to step in to manage this increase as it did last year. There has been a significant transfer of the rail funding from the Government to passengers and the amount passengers are having to pay is now at a tipping point."

Rail Minister Claire Perry acknowledged that passengers had had to contend with "inflation-busting fare rises almost every year over the last decade" but insisted the Government was committed to "fair fares".

She said: "What we have got to do is make sure rail passengers, who could be forgiven for thinking 'What on earth am I getting for these rises I've seen over the last decade?', start to realise that they are paying fair fares for comfortable commuting."

However rail customer watchdog Passenger Focus called on the Government to restrict rises as it did last time. Director David Sidebottom said: "This level of fare increase puts more pressure on the railways to ensure passengers get an excellent service for the money they are paying.

"We hope the Government will step in again as it did last year, to ensure that train fares in England do not rise above the rate of inflation."

Transport charity Sustrans echoed this, saying: "Last year the Chancellor showed he understood the negative impact of high rail costs on the economy by holding fares to an inflation-only increase. He needs to take action again this year."

In addition The Campaign for Better Transport pointed out that fares have gone up by more than 24 per cent since 2010, while wages had only risen by 6.9 per cent over the same period.

But rail industry body, the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, reiterated that money from fares pays for more trains, better stations and faster services.

Director general Michael Roberts said "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."

Comments (6)

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1:28pm Tue 19 Aug 14

joe415018 says...

I don't know how northernfail have the nerve. They say every year its for service improvements but does it improve? Quick answer is no. Its probably to pay for the army of hi vis wearing revenue protection blokes they employ at every station morning noon and night protecting the money but if like to see a service and punctuality protection staff which is highly unlikely as let's face it northern want to look after their share holders and provide the worst service at the least cost to themselves
I don't know how northernfail have the nerve. They say every year its for service improvements but does it improve? Quick answer is no. Its probably to pay for the army of hi vis wearing revenue protection blokes they employ at every station morning noon and night protecting the money but if like to see a service and punctuality protection staff which is highly unlikely as let's face it northern want to look after their share holders and provide the worst service at the least cost to themselves joe415018
  • Score: 8

1:57pm Tue 19 Aug 14

pcmanners says...

It is disgraceful that rail companies are limited to inflation plus 1%. The state should not interfere in the running of private companies. With this level of interference the rail companies might as well be nationalised. The Government should keep the promises it made and allow private business to set their own commercial agendas.
It is disgraceful that rail companies are limited to inflation plus 1%. The state should not interfere in the running of private companies. With this level of interference the rail companies might as well be nationalised. The Government should keep the promises it made and allow private business to set their own commercial agendas. pcmanners
  • Score: -6

3:17pm Tue 19 Aug 14

micela22 says...

Listened to comments by various media & calls for The Government to contribute more: Just where do these people think The Government get their money, Politicians digging deep?? it`s the taxpayer-again!! Why should taxpayers fund private rail companies, if they can`t run a good service on what they charge with overcrowded trains there`s some serious mismanaging of funds. I rarely travel by train, the nearest stations are City Centre as there isn`t a line near Queensbury. I`ve travelled once in the last 13 years & I know that there are millions, like me, who don`t use the trains as the cost is prohibitive, It was cheaper to fly to London that go by rail.
Listened to comments by various media & calls for The Government to contribute more: Just where do these people think The Government get their money, Politicians digging deep?? it`s the taxpayer-again!! Why should taxpayers fund private rail companies, if they can`t run a good service on what they charge with overcrowded trains there`s some serious mismanaging of funds. I rarely travel by train, the nearest stations are City Centre as there isn`t a line near Queensbury. I`ve travelled once in the last 13 years & I know that there are millions, like me, who don`t use the trains as the cost is prohibitive, It was cheaper to fly to London that go by rail. micela22
  • Score: 1

10:55pm Tue 19 Aug 14

onefaith says...

well that's me walking from now on........how dare a company mistreat their customers like this....I got a train last yr to Manchester from Bradford on a Saturday to go watch the rugby....set off at 10 in the morning and every single train was jam packed.......a scruffy noisy uncomfortable train that we had to stand up on all the way to Manchester......no apology no nothing.........I got an idea for you NORTHERN RAIL.......IMPROVE UR TRAINS AND SERVICES BEFORE YOU THINK OF YOUR POCKETS......YOU GREAT BUNCH OF MUPPETS
well that's me walking from now on........how dare a company mistreat their customers like this....I got a train last yr to Manchester from Bradford on a Saturday to go watch the rugby....set off at 10 in the morning and every single train was jam packed.......a scruffy noisy uncomfortable train that we had to stand up on all the way to Manchester......no apology no nothing.........I got an idea for you NORTHERN RAIL.......IMPROVE UR TRAINS AND SERVICES BEFORE YOU THINK OF YOUR POCKETS......YOU GREAT BUNCH OF MUPPETS onefaith
  • Score: 1

8:22am Wed 20 Aug 14

Cityman23 says...

pcmanners wrote:
It is disgraceful that rail companies are limited to inflation plus 1%. The state should not interfere in the running of private companies. With this level of interference the rail companies might as well be nationalised. The Government should keep the promises it made and allow private business to set their own commercial agendas.
The private rail companies have been " taking the general public for a ride" for too long. The railways need to be at least partly re:nationalised.

The so- called private is best notion that competition drives up standards and drives down prices is a myth also seen with the privatised energy companies. The rail and energy companies are private monopolies which set prices high using cartel methods. they all do it, so where's the choice?
[quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: It is disgraceful that rail companies are limited to inflation plus 1%. The state should not interfere in the running of private companies. With this level of interference the rail companies might as well be nationalised. The Government should keep the promises it made and allow private business to set their own commercial agendas.[/p][/quote]The private rail companies have been " taking the general public for a ride" for too long. The railways need to be at least partly re:nationalised. The so- called private is best notion that competition drives up standards and drives down prices is a myth also seen with the privatised energy companies. The rail and energy companies are private monopolies which set prices high using cartel methods. they all do it, so where's the choice? Cityman23
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Scotyke says...

I have travelled only twice on trains in the last ten years, accepting the high prices because I chose to travel (and enjoy) that way; but I regret having to contribute through taxes to any degree of rail subsidy. We all have life choices, so rail commuters should accept responsibility for their choice, then accept and bear price increases. Commuters and regular rail users should not expect taxpayers, whether or not through nationalisation to pay for what they choose to do, or travel, or where they choose to work or live.
I have travelled only twice on trains in the last ten years, accepting the high prices because I chose to travel (and enjoy) that way; but I regret having to contribute through taxes to any degree of rail subsidy. We all have life choices, so rail commuters should accept responsibility for their choice, then accept and bear price increases. Commuters and regular rail users should not expect taxpayers, whether or not through nationalisation to pay for what they choose to do, or travel, or where they choose to work or live. Scotyke
  • Score: 0

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