Fare rises and a railway system that is badly failing the country | Letters
Readers respond to the latest round of rail fare increases
I had a few minutes spare while waiting at my local station, so I put some fictitious long-distance return journeys into the ticket machine to see what the costs were, just to amuse myself (Passengers to start the year with station protests as fare increases add to outrage, 2 January). Anytime return to St Ives, Cornwall £309.80; to Fort William £465; and Inverness £382. So not much change out of £1,000 for a couple taking a return trip from Kent to west Scotland. It’s beyond parody.
• You report the “3.1% average fare increase” this year and the claim by Andrew Jones, the rail minister, that “for the sixth year in a row fares are only rising with inflation”. In reality the situation is even worse than this, as “unregulated” fares have risen by much more than the rise in inflation. In 2016 Arriva took over the Northern rail franchise. At that time, for example, an off-peak return fare from Greenfield into Manchester cost £4.40. Five increases later the same journey now costs £6.50, an increase approaching 50%. Is Chris Grayling going to blame this on “the higher pay rises” demanded by the rail unions?
Source: Guardian Transport