The biggest rail fare price hike in five years has been announced – this is how it affects Greater Manchester commuters
“Why are we paying so much for overcrowded trains in the north?” ask campaigners
[from the Manchester Evening News, 5 December 2017]
Train fares will rise by an average 3.4pc from January 2 – adding nearly £100 to some Greater Manchester season tickets.
The increase, the biggest in five years, affects season tickets on most commuter routes and some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys.
Train operating companies set the prices of other tickets but are bound by competition rules.
And the price hike comes on top of a number of operator-led increases in recent months.
In May this year, for example, Northern Rail increased some of its unregulated fares by nearly ten per cent – for the third time in nine months.
It’s been met with outrage by unions and rail groups.
Described as a ‘kick in the teeth’ by the RMT union, the Rail Delivery Group has issued a reminder that 97pc of fare income is ploughed back into the railway.
John Moorhouse, secretary for TravelWatch NorthWest – a Manchester-based watchdog – added:
“We’re not happy. It just very frequently seem to be greater than the cost of living.
“I don’t think many of our rail travellers in the north west are getting good value for money, mainly because we’ve not seen the improvements we were promised. There are still overcrowding problems.
“Just at this moment in time, it’s difficult to justify such a large increase and it’s regrettable to see this.”
Mick Cash of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said:
“For public sector workers and many others in our communities who have had their pay and benefits capped or frozen by this government, these fare increases are another twist of the economic knife.
“The private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank.”
The rise in regulated fares had already been capped at July’s Retail Prices Index inflation rate of 3.6pc.
One in nine trains (12pc) have arrived late at their destinations in the past 12 months.
Last year, a 2.3pc rise was implemented – leading to a protest at Manchester Piccadilly by campaign group Action for Rail.
According to the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, around 97p in every pound paid by passengers goes back into running and improving services.
What will happen to season tickets in Greater Manchester?
The following are prices into Manchester city centre
Altrincham £1,008 up to £1,044 (£36 increase)
Stockport £868 up to £899 (£31 increase)
Glossop £1,116 up to £1,156 (£40 increase)
East Didsbury £864 up to £895 (£31 increase)
Macclesfield £2,484 up to £2,573 (£89 increase)
Wilmslow £1,428 up to £1,479 (£51 increase)
Knutsford £1,724 up to £1,786 (£62 increase)
Bolton £988 up to £1,024 (£36 increase)
Ashton Under Lyne £868 up to £899 (£31 increase)
Rochdale £1,116 up to £1,156 (£40 increase)
Also, some annual season ticket prices of more relevance to us (extracted from www.nationalrail.co.uk season ticket calculator)
Slaithwaite to Manchester £1,984 up to £2,032 (£48, 2.4% increase)
Marsden to Manchester £1,828 up to £1,872 (£44, 1.3% increase)
Greenfield to Manchester £1,116 up to £1,156 (£40, 3.6% increase)
Slaithwaite to Huddersfield £376 up to £388 (£12, 3.2% increase)
Marsden to Huddersfield £644 up to £664 (£20, 3.1% increase)
Slaithwaite to Leeds £1,408 up to £1,456 (£48, 3.4% increase)
Marsden to Leeds £1,408 up to £1,456 (£48, 3.4% increase)