From Keighley News, January 1st, 2018
Written by Alistair Shand
KEIGHLEY MP John Grogan has hit out at rail fare increases which take effect this week. And he claims that for many people, travelling by train is now becoming too expensive. Passengers on the Airedale line will be hit with the latest price hike tomorrow, when the cost of a Keighley-Leeds season ticket for example soars from £1,176 to £1,216.
"About half of all fares such as season tickets and standard returns are regulated by the Government and go up by the rise in the retail price index – which this time is about 3.6 per cent," said Mr Grogan.
"This measure of inflation includes council tax and mortgage interest payment rises and in recent years has increased at a much greater rate than the alternative consumer prices index.
"Regulated fares have now risen by 32 per cent since 2010, more than twice the level at which average wages have increased.
"Rail travellers in the north are being hit particularly hard this January because when you take into account all train fares, Northern Rail – which operates the Airedale line – is increasing fares by no less than 4.7 per cent. This is the highest increase in the country."
He said the cost of train travel was deterring people from using the railways, with recent Department for Transport figures showing that season ticket sales fell by ten per cent last year.
Mr Grogan added: "Arriva Trains, which controls Northern Rail, is in turn owned by Deutsche Bahn which is ultimately owned by the German state.
"The question has to be asked, would we not be better operating the lines under British public ownership and save costs by stopping paying profits to the German taxpayer?"