Piccadilly Pulse: Trains fares have rocketed but are the services value for money?

By Cara Quinn

With train services already under fire for frequent lateness, cancellations and over-crowding, MM took to the streets of Manchester to find out how the price increase has affected commuters.

TfGM, which oversees Metrolink, justified the decision to increase its fares by an average of 4% to fund improvements of the lines and services.

Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM committee, assured passengers that fares will only ever increase to meet the growing costs of running, improving or expanding the network.

The rail network has seen an even sharper rise in fare prices with Northern Rail fares increasing by an average of 4.8%. 

On a national level, ticket prices have increased by an average of 3.9%, with North West one of the worst hit.

In light of the recent hike in train and tram fares, do you think the services are value for money?

Yes 25%

No 75%

It is evident that many are outraged at the ticket price increase with many considering other travel options if the prices continue to rise.  Here are some of the disgruntled comments expressed:

Roman Caherty, 27, a teacher from Stockport, said: “I don’t think it is much of a big deal to be honest.  It’s not a major jump but people love to complain about something.  If they don’t like it then just get the bus.”

Amy Harvey, 18, a student from Derbyshire, said: “If you use them every day it really hits your pocket.  It is much easier to walk about now than it is to pay for a tram and I think more people will just not bother.  It is just too much money and if the prices keep going up I will probably start using the bus.”

Violet Smith, 73, retired from Sale, said: “I would like to take my grandchildren into town but they say that they can no longer afford it.  They are forced to take the car and then have to pay for parking all day.  Trams used to be the cheaper alternative and everyone was so happy about that but now the prices are getting ridiculous.”

Delvin Smith, 35, a sales assistant from Salford, said: “Prices are going up all the time.  They have to run the services so it is inevitable that prices will rise.  My tram fare has only gone up by 10p so it really doesn’t affect me much but my friends are very grumpy about it.”  

Rachel Lavelle, 23, a shop assistant from Bolton, said: “Trains are packed every time that I get one them and they never run when you need them to. What exactly are we paying for?  If they actually ran on time and were not jammed packed I wouldn’t be complaining but that is not the case.”

Rob Fowell, 19, a student from Reddish said, “Trains are so busy all the time.  If they weren’t so busy then it would be easier and not as annoying when they put the price up.  I think the coach is much better for value as the trains are just not worth it all.”

Rebecca Lally, 18, a student from Manchester, said: “When you are travelling not very far distances it seems unfair to have such steep fares.”

Andrew Kerr, 38, unemployed from Oldham, said: “You pay an awful lot of money for an awful service. The trains are never on time, the staff are rude, they are overcrowded and often don’t turn up at all.”

Picture courtesy of Network Rail, with thanks.

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