A RAIL fare increase that will comes into effect next year has been slammed by the deputy mayor of Greater Manchester Baroness Bev Hughes.

She says "most people have given up travelling on our trains" after "another year of delays, cancellations and overcrowded trains".

The deputy mayor believes a price hike will not “win those people back”.

The fare increase is based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure for July of 2.8 per cent.

Baroness Hughes said: "This is another kick in the teeth for Greater Manchester’s long-suffering rail commuters.

"After another year of delays, cancellations and overcrowded trains, the travelling public will find it hard to understand how another fare increase can possibly be justified.

"Many people have given up travelling on our trains because they can’t guarantee getting to work on time, or getting home before their children are in bed.

"Putting up fares is not going to help win those people back.

"Greater Manchester is calling on the government to give us more control of our railways so we can deliver a better service that puts people first and that is integrated with the rest of our public transport."

Leigh Journal:

Deputy mayor of Greater Manchester Baroness Bev Hughes

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Greater Manchester was severely affected by the timetable chaos that impacted on train travellers in the summer of 2018.

It was described by last month's Blake Jones Review as "a massive failure" of the rail industry.

In June, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, launched Our Network, a ten-year plan to create an integrated, modern and accessible public transport system in the city-region.

Public transport connections across the city-region will grow and develop in four phases over the next decade.

The Government said in January 2020 it will be the seventh year in a row that it has capped fares in line with inflation.

It also added that since 2014 fares, on average, remained below the annual inflation cap.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I've been taking six trains a day for years and have frequently found commuting extremely frustrating, so it's tempting to suggest fares should never rise.

"Of course, the truth is that if we stop investing in our railways then we'll never see it improved.

“So my first priority is to get the trains running on time and Keith Williams has been carrying out a root-and-branch review.

"Today I can announce that I will bring the much-criticised franchising system to an end and instead create a railway where the main goal of everyone involved is to run trains on time.

“Our trains are the busiest they have been in history, but that congestion must not prevent us from creating a railway that’s fit for the 21st century.”