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East Lancashire politicians unite to slam hike in rail fares
East Lancashire politicians have condemned the news that many rail fares in England will rise by up to 6.2% in January — double the rate of inflation.
Some price rises may be higher.
Pendle Tory MP Andrew Stephenson, Hyndburn Labour backbencher Graham Jones and Liberal Democrat Lord Greaves welcomed the proposed new investment in East Lancashire’s rail network but said it was wrong to make passengers pay for it.
Most English fares will rise by the retail prices index (RPI) measure of inflation in July of 3.2% plus 3%.
The extra money is earmarked to fund huge investment across the network.
Pendle peer and councillor Tony Greaves said: “These fare increases are too high. East Lancashire will benefit from investments in the local rail network including the Todmorden Curve improvements and the new Burnley services.
“Passengers will be grateful for these improvements but it is unfair to make them pay so much extra in fares for them. We now have the most expensive train fares in Europe.”
Mr Jones said: “These fare increases are outrageous. Commuters in East Lancashire cannot afford these price hikes.”
Mr Stephenson said: “Local rail passengers will benefit from improvements such as the Northern Hub and to the Todmorden Curve but these increases are still very steep.”
Some passengers could see their journey prices rising by more than the average. and Mike Hewitson, of watchdog Passenger Focus, said: “It is another inflation-busting increase.
“There is only so much you can squeeze out of passengers.”