CALLS are being made to address an investment imbalance between Yorkshire and London in the face of "astronomical" rises in rail fares.

The Yorkshire Party is arguing there should be no increases in charges before moves to tackle transport problems in Leeds and Bradford.

Spokesman Bob Buxton, who is a member of Rawdon Parish Council, spoke out after passengers were hit with the largest rail fare rises in five years.

He said: "Why must Yorkshire suffer from this blanket increase in rail fares when the imbalance in investment between London and Yorkshire is so great? Remember, the transport infrastructure spending per person in London is ten times greater than that in Yorkshire and yet fares still rise to astronomical levels.

"The Ripon Line, the Otley Loop and many other Yorkshire railways were destroyed by the Beeching Axe. Scotland has reversed many such cuts, including the Borders Railway, but not one line has been replaced in Yorkshire. A proper, powerful devolution deal for Yorkshire would give us the same control over our destiny which Scotland already has."

Cllr Buxton said the effects of under-investment were visible every day in Leeds, including in the congestion along the A65.

He stressed: "While London gets £15 billion spent on Crossrail, Leeds remains the largest city in the EU without a mass transit system and, consequently, suffers some of the worst air pollution. Before any increase in fares, we need an expert-led Leeds-Bradford Transport Review and solid progress instead of further politically-led white elephants, like the poorly planned Leeds-Bradford Airport road and the abandoned Trolley Bus scheme."