Skegness tourism leaders condemn train fare hike

Tourism leaders have labelled a rail operator’s four per cent fare hike as ‘unacceptable’ given the ‘poor service’ it provides Skegness visitors.

Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Association’s chairman George Facey has criticised the New Year price increase announced by East Midlands Trains today.

He said: “Rather than putting their prices up they should be providing a better service - that way more people would travel by train and they would generate more income without increasing costs.”

Mr Facey referred to a number of recent incidents when rail visitors to Skegness were left ‘stranded’ with too few seats to accommodate them on their return journey.

He believes it is ‘cheeky’ of any operator to ask its passengers to pay more for a service that has let them down and fears the announcement could impact on visitor numbers.

East Midlands Trains, however, has attributed the increase to government policy revealed in the chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement yesterday.

Managing director David Horne said: “Railway funding can only come from the taxpayer or from the passenger - the government’s policy remains that a bigger share must come from people who use the train.

“We know that nobody likes paying more for their travel, especially to get to work - that’s why we are working hard with the rest of the rail industry to make the system cost efficient and help take the pressure off future fare rises.

“At the same time, we are investing in our trans and stations to deliver a better railway for our customers.”

East Midlands Trains operate local services along the ‘Poacher Line’ calling at Skegness, Havenhouse Wainfleet and Thorpe Culvert in the Standard’s patch.

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