Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders has called for a parliamentary debate on introducing more equitable rail fares, after revealing that constituents living in Neston can pay over twice as much as those living in Hooton for the same journey.
According to the National Rail Enquiries Website, a return ticket from Neston to Southport costs £13.30, while the same journey from Hooton costs just £6.45. Passengers travelling from Hooton also benefit from a more regular service and shorter journey times.
In his question to the Leader of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon. Chris Grayling MP, Justin said:
“My constituents from Neston have to pay over £13 for a return fare to Southport, but if they leave from just a few miles away at Hooton station, they have to pay less than half of that for a far superior service.
So can we have a debate please on what can be done to create a more equitable system of rail fares in this country?”
Responding, the Leader of the House did not agree to propose a debate in Government time, but expressed concern about the problem and indicated that the Transport Secretary would be in the House taking questions in the near future.
Commenting afterwards, Justin said:
“It is an outrage that Neston residents are being charged twice as much for the same journey as people living just a few miles away. The people of Neston also face the double-disadvantage of being charged rip-off fares for infrequent and unreliable services.
I’m disappointed that the Government were not interested in holding a debate about this issue, which I know occurs in a number of other areas across the country. There should not be a postcode lottery when it comes to rail fares.
I’ve tabled a question to the Secretary of State for Transport next Thursday on this subject and if my question is drawn, I again call on the Government to act to bring an end to this longstanding problem. I am also continuing to work on a cross-border basis on the issue of seeking infrastructure improvements and eventually the electrification of the Wrexham-Bidston train line.”
To watch Justin’s question on Parliament.tv, follow the following link: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/aac1b94b-3ab0-49c8-ae29-22f1a467cc0f?in=11%3A16%3A54&out=11%3A17%3A30