Fare rises mean rail for the rich

20 December 2011

Reacting to news that rail fares are to rise by an average of 5.9% in January 2012, Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, says these unreasonable rises reflect the disaster that is rail privatisation.

'When Major's Tory government privatised the railways it was, they said, to bring in competition. That never happened. If you want to go by train from London to Liverpool, you go by Virgin or not at all,' he said.

‘The Cameron government's approach to rail was summed up by the then transport minister Philip Hammond when in September he described the network to the House of Commons select committee as ‘a rich man's toy'.

'These fare rises are clear evidence that we need a new approach to rail: and that means stopping treating it like a business and transforming it into a genuine service that will benefit passengers, the environment, the economy and the country.'

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