West Yorkshire rail travellers face inflation-busting 10 per cent fares hike

RAIL commuters in West Yorkshire could see fares increase by around 10 per cent next year - double that of some regions and three times the rate of inflation, it is feared.

Passengers are already paying extra for the increase in carriages which were brought in to ease overcrowding on some of the most congested trains in the country, including the Harrogate, Huddersfield and Pontefract lines.

With inflation and the proposed fare increases for all next December, the result could be a hefty 10 per cent rise for commuters across West Yorkshire.

Transport bosses at Metro and Northern Rail are in discussions with the Government to get the proposed rises reduced and no decisions have yet been made.

A Metro spokesman said: "Metro and Northern are in discussion with the Department for Transport at the moment about ways in which this situation can be mitigated, but no decisions have been made yet. The discussions are at a very early stage."

The spokesman added: "Many of the additional carriages introduced five years ago are now full to standing again. The Department for Transport promised 182 extra carriages for Northern. To date only a net increase of eight has been agreed and these will not benefit the Leeds City Region.

"Rather than increasing the financial burden on passengers for deteriorating conditions, Metro has said on a number of occasions that the Government should be providing the promised extra units for the network and giving the go-ahead to improvements such as the scheme for new stations at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge."

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