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Craven commuters spend a fifth of salary on train fares
9:00am Sunday 13th January 2013 in News
Many commuters in Craven spend almost a fifth of their salary on getting the train to work, according to newly-released figures.
On a day when the cost of train tickets went up by more than six per cent in Yorkshire, the figures showed those hardest hit were people earning under £17,000 with daily commutes in excess of 50 minutes.
In Yorkshire, these workers can expect to spend 19 per cent of their pre-tax earnings on rail travel.
On average, commuters in the Yorkshire and Leeds region spend between 12 and 14 per cent of their wage on rail passes. The national average is eight per cent.
Last week, rail fares went up nationwide by an average of 4.2 per cent, but locally that figure was 6.2 per cent due to an agreement in 2006 to acquire extra rolling stock.
Passengers questioned whether they were getting their money’s worth from the inflation-busting rise.
“I cannot afford to pay more. These are hard times, there’s no jobs and no income,” said 16-year-old Liam Tarpy, of Skipton
Rail users groups have also said services do not reflect the higher than average price hike.
Tim Calow, of the Aire Valley Rail Users Group, said that while there was long-term justification for a fares increase to allow investment in the rail network, there was little happening in Yorkshire at the moment.
“It is not very reasonable, therefore, for us to have an increase at more than the national rate,” he said.
He added that bigger trains and longer platforms had been promised on the Airedale line – which links Skipton with Leeds and Bradford – but no timescale had been agreed.
“We have absolutely no idea when it is going to happen,” said Mr Calow, who lives in Embsay.
“Meanwhile, we have a very good train service, but there are big problems with overcrowding during peak times.”