Fare rises ‘driving people off the trains’ in East Lancashire

Lancashire Telegraph: NEW TIMETABLE Request stops have been brought in for some stations NEW TIMETABLE Request stops have been brought in for some stations

FRESH train fare rises are helping to ‘drive people off the railways’, according to public transport campaigners in East Lancashire.

Rail ticket prices increased by more than twice the rate of inflation, from New Year’s Day – putting an extra 30 or 40 pence on many local journeys.

Train operators say the railway is still a ‘cheaper and quicker’ alternative to cars or buses, for comparable trips.

But the move comes after the introduction of request stops, for Huncoat, Hapton, Pleasington and Burnley Barracks stations.

And two morning and one late-night service will not call at Church and Oswaldtwistle station, under new time-tabling arrangements.

Alan Benson, secretary of STELLA (Save The East Lancashire Line Association), said: “It is driving people off the trains and on to other means.

“There used to be quite a few people in Hapton who went to Accrington for their shopping but it’s almost empty now.

“People are choosing to go by bus instead, especially if you are over 60 because it’s free. It might take longer but you don’t have to pay.”

A Northern Rail spokesman said: “From today, our fares will rise by an average of 4.8 per cent. This is the equivalent of around 10-20p per single journey and will go towards meeting the costs of providing our services and funding further improvements for our customers.

“Travelling with Northern is often cheaper and quicker than the car or the bus for similar journeys, and will remain so in 2013 and beyond. Despite these changes, the cost of our average journey will remain just £2.24.

“Money raised through fares goes on to invest in improvements to stations, trains and services.” He said they were working with the Government and the wider rail industry to drive down costs and improve services.

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1:55pm Thu 3 Jan 13

davree says...

Althougth the cost of train travel is rising so are bus fares, (these are rising faster than the trains!) two weeks ago the train was cancelled and the only other option was to catch the number 22 Transdev 'service' to Clitheroe, A return ticket with a railcard on the train cost £2.65 however to catch the bus single it was £4.20!

I can see where people are coming from saying that fare rises are driving people of the trains, but I travel from Clitheroe to Manchester atleast 3 times per week and over the last year there are more and more people on the train! In this time I have caught the Transdev buses in Blackburn and the number of people on the buses has decreased!

As with people over 60 travelling on the bus for free, they obviously are going to travel on the free option! If they introduced that on the trains they'd be packed all day everyday and fares would need to rise again!

The train is still good value, even though the train are old and smelly!
Althougth the cost of train travel is rising so are bus fares, (these are rising faster than the trains!) two weeks ago the train was cancelled and the only other option was to catch the number 22 Transdev 'service' to Clitheroe, A return ticket with a railcard on the train cost £2.65 however to catch the bus single it was £4.20! I can see where people are coming from saying that fare rises are driving people of the trains, but I travel from Clitheroe to Manchester atleast 3 times per week and over the last year there are more and more people on the train! In this time I have caught the Transdev buses in Blackburn and the number of people on the buses has decreased! As with people over 60 travelling on the bus for free, they obviously are going to travel on the free option! If they introduced that on the trains they'd be packed all day everyday and fares would need to rise again! The train is still good value, even though the train are old and smelly! davree

2:27pm Thu 3 Jan 13

s_smith says...

Quite agree; a return from Blackburn to Darwen is £2.60 - on Transdev it is £4.20 (although that is for a day-rider, which is cheaper than getting two singles on the bus!).

Or even getting to Preston, £5.90 return.. last time I had to travel by bus back to Blackburn I think it was around £7 something.

Rail fares in Lancashire dont seem to have risen at all, or if they have, by very very little; in actual fact; the train I use to go to Lytham occasionally is still £13.90 this year, as it was last year and the year before.
Quite agree; a return from Blackburn to Darwen is £2.60 - on Transdev it is £4.20 (although that is for a day-rider, which is cheaper than getting two singles on the bus!). Or even getting to Preston, £5.90 return.. last time I had to travel by bus back to Blackburn I think it was around £7 something. Rail fares in Lancashire dont seem to have risen at all, or if they have, by very very little; in actual fact; the train I use to go to Lytham occasionally is still £13.90 this year, as it was last year and the year before. s_smith

2:39pm Thu 3 Jan 13

shytalk says...

In Lancashire we are very lucky to have the train services we do compared to other parts of the country, and although expensive are far cheaper than buses. Anyone who uses the train to go to Manchester or Blackburn etc from Clitheroe and back will tell you what a Godsend the trains are. The only way you can travel cheaper is by pushbike or small motorbike, and buses cost twice as much
I would be very suprised if there has been a decrease in the number of people using the trains from Clitheroe to travel.
In Lancashire we are very lucky to have the train services we do compared to other parts of the country, and although expensive are far cheaper than buses. Anyone who uses the train to go to Manchester or Blackburn etc from Clitheroe and back will tell you what a Godsend the trains are. The only way you can travel cheaper is by pushbike or small motorbike, and buses cost twice as much I would be very suprised if there has been a decrease in the number of people using the trains from Clitheroe to travel. shytalk

2:41pm Thu 3 Jan 13

davree says...

shytalk wrote:
In Lancashire we are very lucky to have the train services we do compared to other parts of the country, and although expensive are far cheaper than buses. Anyone who uses the train to go to Manchester or Blackburn etc from Clitheroe and back will tell you what a Godsend the trains are. The only way you can travel cheaper is by pushbike or small motorbike, and buses cost twice as much
I would be very suprised if there has been a decrease in the number of people using the trains from Clitheroe to travel.
I regularly travel from Clitheroe to Manchester and it is a god send, without it, it would take twice as long by bus!
[quote][p][bold]shytalk[/bold] wrote: In Lancashire we are very lucky to have the train services we do compared to other parts of the country, and although expensive are far cheaper than buses. Anyone who uses the train to go to Manchester or Blackburn etc from Clitheroe and back will tell you what a Godsend the trains are. The only way you can travel cheaper is by pushbike or small motorbike, and buses cost twice as much I would be very suprised if there has been a decrease in the number of people using the trains from Clitheroe to travel.[/p][/quote]I regularly travel from Clitheroe to Manchester and it is a god send, without it, it would take twice as long by bus! davree

3:08pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Noiticer says...

It is true that the numbers using all local trains are increasing steadily but particularly on routes into Manchester. This is due to a combination of young people/students being priced out of car ownership,increasing road congestion, the relative expense of local bus services and the increasing attractiveness of Manchester as a shopping/cultural/ed
ucational venue. However, it would also be true to say that fares rising 50% in the past decade have put off many potential passengers, especially for leisure and recreational travel when that travel is discretionary and not a necessity.
Likewise the rail companies, especially in the north, can't say that the increased farebox revenue has been invested in new trains as Northern's trains are by far the worst in the UK and not getting better nor are any new trains coming to the north anytime soon. Most investment is taking place in London and the south east with some electrification up here but of little benefit to NE Lancashire.
Only when we have a 'People's Railway' run as not for profit co-operative and controlled by a regional body will the north have a decent rail network which is run for the benefit of the community ans is accessible by many more people and resposive to their needs.
It is true that the numbers using all local trains are increasing steadily but particularly on routes into Manchester. This is due to a combination of young people/students being priced out of car ownership,increasing road congestion, the relative expense of local bus services and the increasing attractiveness of Manchester as a shopping/cultural/ed ucational venue. However, it would also be true to say that fares rising 50% in the past decade have put off many potential passengers, especially for leisure and recreational travel when that travel is discretionary and not a necessity. Likewise the rail companies, especially in the north, can't say that the increased farebox revenue has been invested in new trains as Northern's trains are by far the worst in the UK and not getting better nor are any new trains coming to the north anytime soon. Most investment is taking place in London and the south east with some electrification up here but of little benefit to NE Lancashire. Only when we have a 'People's Railway' run as not for profit co-operative and controlled by a regional body will the north have a decent rail network which is run for the benefit of the community ans is accessible by many more people and resposive to their needs. Noiticer

4:09pm Thu 3 Jan 13

s_smith says...

Thing is you cannot blame Northern for the state of rail travel; their franchise was let on a "no growth" basis, with no cash for major improvements such as rolling stock refurbishments - yet the franchise has seen passenger growth of over 40%.

If you look at any other operator that runs similar BR-era DMU's that have had a complete internal, external and mechanical refurbishment, they are no comparison to the same types of train used by Northern, because there is no franchise requirement.

Northern cannot be blamed for doing precisely what they are contracted to do - after all they are there to make money, same as any other private company.
Thing is you cannot blame Northern for the state of rail travel; their franchise was let on a "no growth" basis, with no cash for major improvements such as rolling stock refurbishments - yet the franchise has seen passenger growth of over 40%. If you look at any other operator that runs similar BR-era DMU's that have had a complete internal, external and mechanical refurbishment, they are no comparison to the same types of train used by Northern, because there is no franchise requirement. Northern cannot be blamed for doing precisely what they are contracted to do - after all they are there to make money, same as any other private company. s_smith

8:26pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Noiticer says...

Precisely s-smith but it would be better if the franchise system was swept away and replaced by something which puts the people first. It's a strange state of affairs that a rail network that runs at a loss and receives a subsidy is run by a company that makes a profit from it. Even stranger that a partner in Northern Trains is Dutch National Railways - a state run company -so Dutch National Railways is making money out of the British taxpayer. What a way to run a railway.
Precisely s-smith but it would be better if the franchise system was swept away and replaced by something which puts the people first. It's a strange state of affairs that a rail network that runs at a loss and receives a subsidy is run by a company that makes a profit from it. Even stranger that a partner in Northern Trains is Dutch National Railways - a state run company -so Dutch National Railways is making money out of the British taxpayer. What a way to run a railway. Noiticer

10:07pm Thu 3 Jan 13

s_smith says...

Couldnt agree more. Privatisation is never a good thing IMO for certain things in life... such as utilities and public transport. They should all be non-profit organisations.
Couldnt agree more. Privatisation is never a good thing IMO for certain things in life... such as utilities and public transport. They should all be non-profit organisations. s_smith

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