Dearne MP’s scathing attack on train fare hikes for commuters

Michael Dugher MP
Michael Dugher MP

A Dearne MP has hit out at the government for allowing train companies to hit Dearne commuters with rare rises of 20 per cent in the last five years.

Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, blasted transport bosses days after further fare rises came into effect on January 2.

He said some season tickets in Barnsley have risen by more than 24 per cent since 2010, costing hundreds of pounds more for commuters. He explained how a season ticket from Barnsley to Leeds has gone up by 24 per cent, from £1,508 to £1,864, an increase of £356.

Similarly, a season ticket from Barnsley to Elsecar and Wombwell to Meadowhall have both increased by 20 per cent.

Mr Dugher said: “David Cameron is presiding over a rip-­off railway in Britain. He has failed to stand up for working people in Barnsley struggling with the cost­‐of­‐living crisis and has allowed the train companies to hit passengers with massive fare rises of over 20 per cent since 2010.

“Some season tickets for passengers living in Barnsley East have now risen by 24 per cent under this Government, forcing people to pay hundreds of pounds more to commute to work on increasingly overcrowded trains. Out­‐of­‐touch ministers talk about ‘fair fares for comfortable commuting’, but this is a world away from the reality for hard-up commuters living in Barnsley.”

Mr Dugher said a Labour government would reforming the railways, simplify the ticketing system and enforce a cap on fares on every route.

But transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin defended government policy and said: “The truth is we’re seeing the largest investment we’ve seen in the railways. Over the next five years Network Rail will invest over £38.5bn.

“I accept that 2.5 per cent is more than the passenger wants to pay. Any increase is regrettable but it is a fact that we’re investing record amounts into the industry so that we get better train services.”