As a result of the botched franchising of the West Coast line, the government had to negotiate extensions to existing franchises including Northern Rail and this has led to axing some off peak tickets.
Thousands of commuters will see their fares double and Chancellor George Osborne’s pledge that next January’s increases will be capped at 2.5% is scant comfort for customers in my region.
Again it seems that those living in the Westminster bubble just do not understand how tight people’s budgets are. Many are literally counting the pennies and a big increase in the cost of commuting will be catastrophic for some families.
Northern Rail has been forced to introduce evening peak ticket restrictions on local services. Off-peak tickets are no longer be valid on some trains between 4-01pm and 6-29pm on weekdays. This means, for example, a passenger from Rochdale to Wigan will pay £11 for a day return, an increase of 162%.
And Osborne’s own constituents will be hit with a 52% increase in a day return from Styal to Manchester bringing it to £5.20.
I am not surprised protests have been taking place at some railway stations, people are desperate to work to support their families and these rises make it harder for them to do so.
Paul Nuttall MEP
North West MEP and UKIP Deputy Leader