Passengers on one of Britain’s most expensive rail routes are calling for a fairer pricing system.
At £5.90 (84p per mile) a seven-mile single trans-Pennine trip from Greenfield to Marsden is still one of the country’s priciest.
By comparison it costs £2.40 for a single from Marsden to Huddersfield (7.4 miles) and £5.60 from Marsden to Leeds (27 miles).
And if you’re going further into Yorkshire it’ll cost you even more. A single from Greenfield – officially part of Yorkshire until 1974 – to Leeds costs a whopping £14.90.
Crossing counties on Britain’s rail network bumps up the ticket price.
But including the cross-county fee the trip from Greenfield to Marsden seems expensive compared to equivalent cross-county trips.
A single from Wigan, Greater Manchester, to St Helens, nine miles away in Merseyside costs £4.40.
While a 10-mile journey from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, to Chesterfield, Derbyshire, will set you back £5.10.
And a 16-mile trip from Darlington, County Durham, to Middlesbrough, Teesside, costs £5.30.
Greenfield resident David Haigh said: “I was just looking at getting the train to New Pudsey to meet my wife after work.
“For me to get the train from Greenfield to New Pudsey is £18.40 single. For me to get the train from Marsden to New Pudsey is £4.70 single.
“That works out at £13.70 to go seven miles from Greenfield to Marsden.
“It is absolutely ridiculous.”
The fare has since increased to £18.90 and £4.80 for two journeys respectively.
You can sometimes save cash by buying more than one ticket or picking a different route.
For example, if you buy two singles for a one-way journey – one from Greenfield to Marsden and another from Marsden to Leeds – you’ll pay £11.50.
That’s £3.40 less than the £14.90 ‘cheapest fare’ claimed by the official National Rail Enquiries website.
But such bizarre cost-cutting methods have led to calls for a more logical fares system.
Paul Salveson, transport professor at Huddersfield University, said: “The whole system has evolved higgledy-piggledy.
“It goes back to the times of British Rail and there’s the added complications of the passenger transport executives (PTEs) with their own pricing systems.
“It can end up being very expensive.
“It should be done on a northern basis not just for Greater Manchester and Yorkshire. There should be some short-term fare reductions – it’s not impossible.”
Prof Salveson added: “There isn’t any logical justification for it.”
A spokesperson for Northern Rail, which runs the Manchester to Leeds service stopping at Greenfield and Marsden, said: “We are aware of the issues raised by commuters when travelling from Greenfield and Marsden. We set the fares for some journeys on the route while some tickets are set by other train operators.
“We want to encourage as many people as possible to use our services from Greenfield and Marsden and we will continue to offer affordable fares from both stations.”
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