RAIL users in Solihull have warned they may be forced to turn their backs on public transport if plans to further increase fares go ahead.
Frustrated passengers have been left fearing the worst after they being warned of a 6.2 per cent increase in ticket prices, which would come into effect in January next year.
We headed down to Solihull Station this week to find out how commuters have reacted to the hike - which has been widely condemned by MPs.
“I’m not happy about it at all,” Carol Jenkinson, aged 40, told us.
“I travel from Longbridge to Solihull everyday and I pay £56 a month as it is. I have no choice, I have to use this method of transport and I will not be pleased if they increase the fares even further.
“It’s not even as if this is always the best service either - the trains are often late. I think people will eventually find alternative methods of transport, like the car. We are constantly being encouraged to use public transport but they don’t make it easy for us.”
Dave Biss travels from Leamington Spa to work in Solihull.
“It’s about getting that balance right between using the train and the car,” said the 48-year-old.
“I think if fares end up being just as expensive as using the car, a lot of people will just choose to drive instead of taking the train.”
Another regular rail user, Valerie Ward, added: “Fares are getting very expensive. If I didn’t have my rail card, I don’t think I would be using the trains as often as I do.”
Frank Shaw, chairman of the Solihull and Leamington Rail Users Association (SALRUA), said: “It’s too early to say how we will be affected locally but there is a concern and people are fed up of the prices going up. The only thing I can say - and this is not an excuse - is that there are a lot more people travelling by rail these days and money has to be spent on improving the trains and the service.”