TRAINS: Services don’t match fares

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The depressing hike in rail fares from next month will hit travellers all over the country. However, it is those in the poorer areas, such as the North East, who will feel it most.

Trains provide a vital link for commuters so they can earn a living and keep a roof over their family’s heads.

Every penny counts and many people are already feeling the pinch in funding their transport costs without a rise in costs.

The RMT Union has rightly described it as ‘another kick in the teeth’ for passengers who are already unimpressed by the fact that 12 per cent of trains failed to meet the rail industry’s punctuality target in the past 12 months.

According to Transport Focus, fewer than half (47 per cent) of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of train tickets.

And now that figure is bound to rise.

The hard-pressed train users are entitled to an efficient and affordable service on good quality rolling stock.

Investments have been made in new trains, track and signals, but this should not be coming out of commuters’ pockets.

UK train fares are already among the highest in Europe, but I fear that is not matched by the services provided on many lines.

Jonathan Arnott

UKIP North East MEP