The depressing hike in rail fares from next month will hit travellers all over the country, but it is those in the poorer areas, like the North East, who will feel it most.
Trains provide a vital link for commuters so they can earn a living and keep a roof over their family’s heads. Every penny counts and many people are already feeling the pinch in funding their transport costs without a rise in costs.
The RMT Union has rightly described it as “another kick in the teeth” for passengers who are already unimpressed by the fact that 12% of trains failed to meet the rail industry’s punctuality target in the past 12 months.
According to Transport Focus, fewer than half (47%) of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of train tickets and that figure is now bound to rise.
The hard pressed train users are entitled to an efficient and affordable service on good quality rolling stock. Investments have been made in new trains, track and signals but this should not be coming out of commuters’ pockets.
UK train fares are among the highest in Europe but that is not matched by the services provided on many lines.
Jonathan Arnott MEP