South Yorkshire metro mayor Dan Jarvis has said the proposed increase in rail fares is ‘unacceptable’ on a network ‘not fit for the 21st century’.
National Rail announced the price of rail tickets across the country will rise by an average of 3.1 per cent come January 2, 2019.
The announcement has been met with widespread anger mainly due to the increasingly poor performance of many rail services across the north of England.
Rail punctuality nationally falling to its lowest level in 12 years.
Northern Rail has been widely criticised for many months due to a botched timetable change resulting in scores of cancelled and delayed trains across South Yorkshire and across the north.
Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis, who is also MP for Barnsley Central called the price hike a ‘bitter pill’ for passengers.
But rail bosses have said the increases are necessary and 98 per cent of all fares are reinvested back into the train network.
This planned increase means a season ticket between Sheffield and Doncaster will go up from £1,008 to £1,039.
An annual pass between Sheffield and Manchester will rise from £3,156 to £3,253 while a 12-month ticket to and from Leeds will increase from £2,540 to £2,619.
A Doncaster to Leeds season pass will now cost £2,416 up from £2,344.
Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region mayor, said: “It is unacceptable that once again rail passengers are being forced to endure fare rises after facing a year of travel chaos.
“Many people have no choice but to travel by train but our rail system is simply not fit for the 21st century. The proposed fare increase of 3.1 per cent in January will be a very bitter pill for passengers whose rail fares are going up faster than their wages.
“People might accept fare rises if they were paying for a reliable and quality service. That is not what they are getting, so I will be raising this in Parliament and continuing to work with Transport for the North colleagues in holding both the rail operators and the Government to account.”
Rail Delivery Group (RDG) chief executive Paul Plummer admitted that no one wanted to pay more to travel, ‘especially those who experienced significant disruption earlier this year’.
The RDG said train companies would introduce 7,000 new carriages, supporting 6,400 extra services a week by 2021, meaning more seats on more reliable, comfortable and frequent trains.
Mr Plummer said: "Money from fares is underpinning the improvements to the railway that passengers want and which ultimately help boost the wider economy.”
Selected season ticket increase on 3.1 per cent average
Sheffield to Leeds
£2,540 → £2,619
Sheffield to Doncaster
£1,008 → £1,039
Sheffield to Manchester
£3,156 → £3,253
Sheffield to Chesterfield
£1,164 → £1,200
Sheffield to Barnsley
£880 → £907
Sheffield to Rotherham
£548 → £564