Blackpool South MP slams rail fare increase

Gordon Marsden has described the increase as 'completely unjustifiable.'

Gordon Marsden MP for Blackpool South has accused the Tory Government and Northern Rail of failing Blackpool’s hard-pressed train passengers, who are today facing yet another increase in their train fares.


A weekly ticket to Manchester now have to pay £85.60 – an increase of 3.1% on last year’s fares.


A weekly ticket to Preston from Blackpool North has also risen to £36.70 – a rise of also 3.1%.


This comes off the back of a miserable year for local passengers and businesses in Blackpool after Network Rail’s ongoing electrification delays to the Blackpool to Preston line. 


Nationally train punctuality is now at a 13-year low with one in seven trains missing their target of arriving within five minutes of their scheduled time.


Gordon said:


“These latest fare increases from Northern and the Government are completely unjustifiable – it’s an insult to commuters to and from Blackpool, who have had to experience a shambolic and second rate service throughout 2018.


“Labour will put passengers and business first. We have challenged the Government to force Northern Rail and other failing rail companies to bear the costs of fare freezes for 2019/20. Labour also believe the lasting solution is to bring the railways back into public ownership.”


Gordon has also continued to challenge Northern on the disability accessibility of the replacement buses during the closure of the Blackpool to Preston line in January and February.


He added:


“We have a lot of elderly or people with mobility issues travelling to and from Blackpool. That’s why I have written to Northern asking for cast-iron guarantees from them that all their replacement buses will be accessible for everyone to use.


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