A RAIL boss has accepted West Yorkshire passengers are not getting an “improving service” despite fares rising by an average of 8%.
James Lewis, chairman of West Yorkshire Metro, said a deal done with the Government on new rolling stock had forced the rise.
Mr Lewis said the costs of six trains bought in 2006 have been subsidised by fares.
A season ticket from Leeds to Wakefield will now cost £908, up from £840.
“People are paying high prices but are not seeing an improving service. I know this is a frustration”, said Mr Lewis. Northern Rail, which runs the franchise service, partnered with West Yorkshire Metro, the passenger transport executive and development agency, Yorkshire Forward, all signed the deal to bring extra trains to the network. The deal we did with Department For Transport was train fares would rise for slightly higher than the national average to pay for that investment”, said Mr Lewis. A spokeswoman for Northern Rail said the firm acknowledged “these are difficult financial times”.
“This is why we will continue to work with the Government and the wider rail industry to drive down the cost of running the railway to provide better long-term value for money for passengers and taxpayers”, he said.
Commuters returning to work after the festive break will be urged to tell the Government exactly what they think of the above-inflation rail fare rises they are having to pay for 2012. The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) is inviting rail travellers to contact the Treasury by tweets, text messages or phone calls so they can show Chancellor George Osborne their anger at the increases.
From yesterday, regulated fares, which include season tickets, have risen by an average nationally of 6%, but some commuters are paying as much as 10.6% more for their annual tickets than they did in January, 2011.