Planned rail fare rises in Lancashire branded '˜an insult' by Labour group
Lancashire's Labour group has slammed planned fare rises on trains through the Â county.
The group is angry about the planned price hikes after months of misery, which saw hundreds of trains cancelled or re-scheduled.
Rail fare increase of 3.2 per cent have been announced for rail passengers in line with an agreed Government formula.
The Labour group says according to research released by the Trade Union Congress, rail fares have increased at more than twice the speed of wages since 2008.
Rail fares have risen by 42 per cent over the past 10 years, while nominal weekly earnings have only grown by 18 per cent.
Coun Erica Lewis, Lancashire Labour’s spokesperson for Highways and Transport said: “A train fare increase of 3.2 per cent for rail passengers in the north is simply ridiculous.
“The idea that train companies , after costing passenger’s time and money because of their inability to plan, should be given a fare increase of any amount is just insulting.
“This fare increase, which the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling could have stopped, clearly says that the government doesn’t care about the pain passengers have suffered, or recognise that since 2008 rail fares have increased at more than twice the speed of nominal weekly earnings.”
She added: “The Labour Party has called for a freeze on fares for Northern Rail, and Transpennine Express.
“Powers should be given to Transport for the North to cancel the franchise agreement and take the service into public ownership.”
Meanwhile, Northern has invited the RMT Union around the negotiating table to try and put an end to three days of planned strike action.
Arriva Rail North, which operates Northern, has formally invited the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) to continue its recent talks .