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Patrick McLoughlin: Scrap Evening Peak Fares in the North of England

The Department for Transport and Northern Rail should scrap their recently-introduced evening peak tickets. Rather than penalising passengers, the focus should be on attracting more people to our railways through better services and more flexible ticketing.

Please note, this petition is now closed.

In a surprise move, Northern Rail have introduced higher peak fares for the evening rush hour.  From 8th September, passengers either leaving or entering most of the north's main cities between 4.00pm and 6.30pm must pay for a peak-time ticket, costing up to double the off-peak equivalent formerly available.

The new evening peak fares unfairly penalise passengers for Government’s failure to invest in adequate services to meet demand. Among those hardest hit will be some of the most disadvantaged and poorly paid in the labour market. Many part-time and shift workers will be travelling to or from their jobs at this time and will not able to change their travel habits to avoid the higher fares.

Rather than introducing evening peak tickets, the Department for Transport and Northern Rail should focus on improving services and making Northern Rail more attractive to potential passengers. This should include investing in better trains and stations and offering more flexible ticketing for part-time and shift workers.