Put passengers first on railways – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Jane Gratton, Head of People Policy, British Chambers of Commerce.

The region's rail services, and future investment, are again in the spotlight.
The region's rail services, and future investment, are again in the spotlight.

IN response to Grant Shapps (The Yorkshire Post, June 22) and the launch of a new flexible season ticket for train travel this week, it is positive news that the Government has recognised the need to improve the system, but the flexibility and savings offered by the new scheme do not go anywhere near far enough.

To power the country’s post-Covid economic recovery, businesses need access to the widest possible pool of talent to fuel their reopening and expansion plans. Our new flexible working patterns will help more people to thrive in work – but they must be supported by equally flexible, and more affordable, fares and ticketing.

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Hybrid ways of working are here to stay so the archaic and complicated ticket pricing system needs to catch up – and fast. To make the system fit for purpose, we need to rip up the rulebook and start again.

Grant Shapps is the Transport Secretary.

If commuters can see no advantage to the system, they will not use it. Flexible fares must provide a reasonable level of discount without a straitjacket being placed on their use. There should be a value for money solution wherever you are based in the country, for how ever often you travel, and wherever you need to go.

The Government has started the ball rolling but it must now translate this into a longer-term concrete commitment to positive change for our railways that places the passenger at the heart of the system.

From: John Pennington, Keighley.

YOU informed us (The Yorkshire Post, June 15) of a major shake-up of LNER’s timetable discontinuing the daily 8.43am Forster Square departure to London, enabling more efficient use of the Azuma fleet to include new direct London services from Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

Monday’s front page (June 21) suggests it is more likely any rail upgrade will serve the latter towns and exclude Bradford. Do LNER know something we do not?

The Government could help by joining up Bradford’s two current dead end stations with a short tunnel, then close one of them. Either way, politicians must stop prevaricating and show the electorate some results before we all get to our own destination.

From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.

THE mixed messages about the status of Northern Powerhouse Rail are symptomatic of broken Tory promises in 2015 and 2017 about the electrification of the TransPennine line.

They’re also a reminder that nothing has been learned from the Chris Grayling era. Look at Crossrail in London, money is still no object. Here? We’re still waiting for a decision.

From: James Buick, Northallerton.

IT would be a lot more helpful if a single member of the Cabinet had responsibility for the North and levelling up, not least to assist with accountability, transparency and scrutiny.

A shame John Bercow did not mention this when he spoke about levelling up, and broken promises, as the former Speaker defected to Labour.

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