YEP Says, August 19: Why should we pay more for a second class rail service?

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...and no more mud at Leeds Festival?

YORKSHIRE’S rail passengers are entitled to feel more than a little bewildered.

On the one hand they hear that northern councils have a £15bn plan – welcomed by Chancellor George Osborne – to overhaul transport with a major focus on rail improvements.

Yet this contrasts sharply with the realities of rail travel today. Inflation figures due out today will go into a formula that will dictate that regulated fares rise by more than three per cent in January after years of wages failing to keep up with prices.

This follows last week’s confirmation that Northern Rail will shortly introduce new evening peak-time fares.

And the Government has made clear through its consultation on the future of the northern and transpennine rail franchises that any improvements in the short term will need to be paid for by savings elsewhere.

When it comes to the lot of rail users, it’s a case of jam tomorrow but never jam today.

Come January, passengers will be asked to pay a lot more to travel on dated, overcrowded, frequently late and often dirty trains or drive to work and sit in the queues that clog this region’s roads.

A move by Mr Osborne to moderate or even waive January’s fare rise would help sweeten what is presently a very bitter pill.

No more muddy hell at Leeds Festival?

THE saying goes that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – and that seems to be the motto of Leeds Festival organisers when it comes to traffic arrangements for this weekend’s extravaganza at Bramham Park.

In the past there have been problems with congestion around the site, but in more recent years the traffic plan has functioned pretty well and there’s no reason why that won’t be the case this time.

One thing it’s hoped will have improved from last year is the mud that was traipsed into the city centre and cost a small fortune to clean up.

Around £50,000 of extra drainage has since been put into the site – let’s hope it’s up to the task.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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