Passengers are paying more for less rail investment

03 August 2008

Figures released by the Office of Rail Regulation show that passengers are continuously paying more for train tickets yet investment in the system is decreasing.


Figures released show that fares have continued to increase above the inflation rate this year, having gone up by 2.7% in real terms. Since privatisation, fares have increased by 13.6% on top of inflation. However passengers hoping that the increased fares would lead to a better service may be disappointed to discover that investment into the railway network is at its lowest level since 1999-00 and is down by 34% on last year.


General Secretary Keith Norman has questioned the logic of this decision. “We live in a world increasingly concerned by climate change and in which our government want more people to take the train rather than the car. Therefore where is the logic in increasing fares above inflation and investing less in the railway?”


The government has reduced its financial support for the industry from £6.3 billion last year to £5.1 billion this year. “Ordinary working people appear to be picking up the shortfall left by the government,” Keith explained. “Correct me if I’m wrong but the supposed benefit of privatisation is that the private sector would invest into the system in order to earn their returns. Instead ordinary people are finding it harder to afford train travel so that shareholders and chief executives can take £1 billion a year out of the industry in profit.”

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