The Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester’s Transport Committee has criticised the changes to Peak evening rail travel conditions
From next Monday, the regions largest rail operator Northern Rail is introducing evening peak ticket restrictions on all local rail services in Greater Manchester.
The move which will see commuters unable to use off-peak’ tickets on any local train services scheduled to depart between 4.01pm and 6.29pm on weekdays, has been brought in as part of the extension of Northern’s franchise to February 2016.
Councillor Andrew Fender says the changes are not justified without any improvements to the service being made.
“The effect they have is to ask passengers to pay more for largely the same service as before.”
“Where tangible improvements have been made, it may not be unreasonable to then expect those improvements to be funded, in part, through fares – but increasing fares in the evening peak prior to real improvements is hard to justify.
There are no plans as yet to introducing the changes on either Metrolink or Greater Manchester’s buses.
However, Multi-modal, multi-operator SystemOne products will also be changing as will anyone who wants to travel between these times on local trains using a combined train-and-tram pass who will need to buy an ‘anytime’ ticket instead.
The changes are part of an agreement with the government which comes with reduced subsidy, as government policy is to decrease taxpayer funding of the railways.
The changes will also effect other operators on the network , TransPennine Express, East Coast, Virgin and Cross Country services which are scheduled to depart between 4.01pm and 6.29pm on weekdays.