Speaking at a meeting of Greater Manchester Combined Authority leaders on Friday, Bolton Council leader Linda Thomas said that the fare rise “does not even leave local commuters with crumbs from the table”.

She added: “They are taking more local money and rewarding failure. Reliability is crashing and cancellations are accelerating. I stand with commuters and say the government’s announced 3.1% fare increase should not be allowed.”

“This unreliability is forcing people back into their cars and for those without this option it is introducing much stress into their lives.

“Calls for Grayling to step up to the plate and threaten removal of the franchise – as the government would for any other franchise that failed miserably – tells us all that the government has no interest in Bolton commuters’ misery.”

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