LABOUR’S prospective parliamentary candidate for Crewe and Nantwich has blasted above-inflation rail fair price hikes that he believes are ‘ripping off’ local commuters.

Rail passengers have learned their fares will rise by up to 5.5 per cent in January, potentially costing some travellers hundreds of pounds.

Dr Adrian Heald, Labour’s PPC, said: “Our rail fares are among the highest in Europe. Commuter season tickets have risen on average a painful twenty per cent under this Government.

“With people’s wages stagnating, and in some cases falling, the expense of taking the train to work has become a huge part of living costs.

“If the Government doesn’t put an end to above-inflation fare increases quickly, ordinary commuters will be priced off the train.

“Local commuters who use Northern Rail, which runs some local services are already facing higher prices next month as the company introduces new evening peak tickets.

“Passengers must have the right to be offered the cheapest fare when they buy a ticket. Rail passengers in Crewe and Nantwich rightly feel ripped off when they are uncertain if they paid the lowest fare.”

Dr Heald said he wanted to see services and fares coordinated under a new organisation to plan investment and services.

He added: “This new body will bring Network Rail together with a truly representative passenger rail organisation.

“It will contract routes, coordinate services, oversee stations, fares and ticketing, plan new rolling stock, raise skills and be accountable for customer satisfaction.”

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