COMMUTERS in Wakefield will be hit harder than anywhere else in the UK when rail fares rise by 10 per cent next year.
The government’s Department for Transport confirmed this week that fares across the UK will increase by three per cent on top of Retail Price Inflation (RPI), which stands at five per cent.
And West Yorkshire travellers have to pay another two per cent to cover the cost of extra carriages introduced to help ease congestion.
It means an annual season ticket from Wakefield to Leeds would soar from £840 to £924 in 2012.
Users of the Express Facebook page condemned the rise as “disgraceful”.
And yesterday Wakefield Council’s deputy leader, Coun Denise Jeffery, said the price rise was a blow to the council’s efforts to encourage people to use public transport.
She said: “It is very disappointing. We want more people to visit and invest in the district and such a high fare increase is bound to be a disincentive.
“This district needs an efficient and affordable public transport system, not a huge hike in fares which is bound to hit people already struggling with the wide effects of government cuts.”
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “Revenue from fares enables the Government to continue to deliver much needed improvements on the rail network, improving conditions for passengers and helping to strengthen economic growth.
“The long term solution is to get the cost of running the railways down, that way we can get a better deal for passengers and tax payers. If this succeeds then we will see the end of above inflation average rises in regulated fares.”
Metro chairman Coun James Lewis said this week that an extra 824 seats will become available when six extra carriages are introduced in December to tackle overcrowding.
It follows an announcement in April that 20 extra carriages would be made available for local journeys.