MIKE Amesbury has blasted the latest train ticket price rises as ‘a slap in the face’ for Northwich commuters.

Passengers in Northwich have had to endure what he branded ‘years of failure’ by the rail industry and Department for Transport.

Prices are due to be hiked nationwide by 3.1 per cent in January.

But the news comes after a series of blows to commuters in the area, including  a delay in the much-awaited introduction of two trains an hour along the Mid Cheshire line into Piccadilly due to ‘pathing issues’.

Meanwhile, the launch of the £18.75m Halton Curve upgraded rail line between Chester and Liverpool has been delayed because of 'a lack of trains'.

Transport for Wales (TfW) said the opening, due to have been this December, is now not expected to take place until May next year because of a lack of rolling stock.

Mike has met with the transport secretary, rail bosses and local rail campaigners over the last year to push for progress.

Mike said: “Since I started my role as MP one of the most pressing issues brought to my attention by councillors, commuters and rail campaigners has been the dire state of local rail.

“I’ve been pressing rail chiefs and the Department for Transport at every turn to finally sort this mess out.

“To see now that rail ticket prices are going up yet again is an absolute slap in the face for my constituents who will be asking just where this money is going, because it’s certainly not going on improving the service.”

He added: “Ultimately the buck stops with the government who let private companies bid for these contracts, but don’t ensure they’re performing properly.

“They must get a handle on this situation and start delivering the services people are already paying a lot of money for.”