Calderdale commuters’ fury at rail fare rises

Rail passengers facing fare price hikes at Halifax Railway Station.
Rail passengers facing fare price hikes at Halifax Railway Station.

Calderdale commuters have voiced their fury at inflation-busting rises in train tickets for yet another year.

Regulated fares, which include season tickets, are increasing by an average of 4.2 per cent, with the overall average rise for all tickets being 3.9 per cent.

Campaign groups have pointed out the increase is the 10th successive above-inflation rise.

Calderdale Councillor Faisal Shoukat (Park, Lab), who is chairman of the Calderdale Passenger Consultative Committee, said: “I’m absolutely appalled.

“We have some of the worst trains in Europe and yet the tax payer is being expected to foot the bill so that private companies can make more profit.”

He said there has been an increase in people using trains on the Calder Valley line and he would have thought train operators would be trying to encourage more people to use trains but the price hike did not seem to suggest that.

He added there has been no improvement to the speed of trains in this area for five years.

Courier readers have been sharing their views on the subject. Jade Jones said: “I used to get trains everywhere but now I’ve got two kids I’d rather walk. How are people supposed to travel at those prices?”

Bob Philpin said: “Disgusting and shameful that anyone could think that the quality and standard of the trains which run through the Calder Valley would constitute a price rise.

“Why should we foot the bill because the rail companies can’t manage and lead their businesses successfully? Train travel will die out soon in Calderdale if this keeps up.”

Jay Cato said: “It’s not worth the rise. I use the trains regularly for work and they are always delayed for one reason or another - signalling problems, flooding on the tracks, etc.

“If the fares are going up then put the extra money towards sorting the problems out.”

Meanwhile First has announced it will be imposing a price freeze on its bus fares. 
The firm, which operates bus services across Calderdale, as well as in Bradford, Leeds and Huddersfield, says it has made the decision in a bid to grow its passenger numbers across West Yorkshire. 
The company says its prices are “very competitive” compared to the cost of running a car, with parking charges and a rising cost of fuel.
The firm made the announcement to its passengers today.
 A spokesman for the company said: “We are happy to announce that we will be freezing the price of our fares. 
“A comprehensive price freeze on all our tickets makes them value for money, especially at a time when fuel is expensive and people are returning to work after the Christmas period.”