‘Hit the road and discover Yorkshire’s glorious countryside’ reads the Visit Britain poster. The Yorkshire Post today pointed out that due to high travel costs this is just not an option for many. Referring to a report by Visit Britain the Post said ‘expensive train tickets and poor transport connections to the countryside could be hitting Yorkshire’s £7bn tourism industry’.
Something needs to be done about the problems facing our rail system, I regularly receive letters from my constituents about high rail fares and unsatisfactory services- this is unsurprising seen as rail fares have risen by 20% since David Cameron came to power.
It is clear to everyone that our rail system is failing to deliver value for money for passengers or taxpayers, our rail system is 40% more expensive to run than in other European countries and with the Governments botched franchising of the railways they have wasted extortionate amount of money, over £50m has been wasted on the West Coast Mainline alone.
After years of franchising chaos and rising fares Labour has pledged bold action to get a better deal for passengers. Labour would start by putting a cap on annual fare rises on every route, simplifying fare structures and creating a new legal right to the cheapest ticket.
Labour would also bring Network Rail and passenger rail services closer together by creating a new national body to integrate and drive improvement across the whole system to deliver a fairer deal for passengers, a system which is not currently in place.
Labour would also reform the franchising system to meet the needs of communities and to encourage economic growth by devolving local services. We would do this so that areas can better deliver what local people want.
The next Labour Government would drive a huge reform of the railways to deliver a better deal for all.
*Photo courtesy of VisitBritain