Action for Rail over rising fares

18 August 2015

ASLEF activists were out in force at stations up and down the country today supporting Action for Rail's protests over rising fares.

Rail fares for season tickets, and other regulated fares, have risen nearly three times faster than wages over the last five years, according to new analysis published today by the TUC and the Action for Rail campaign. Between 2010 and 2015 fares increased by 25%, while average pay went up by just 9%.

The government has announced plans to cap annual increases in regulated rail fares at the Retail Price Index measure of inflation for this parliament. But the public will finance the fare cap through paying their taxes and the capping of fares will cost taxpayers around £700 million over the next five years, according to Department for Transport figures.

Far bigger savings could be passed on to passengers if services were run by the public sector. Research commissioned by Action for Rail shows that £1.5 billion could be saved over the next five years if routes, including the Northern, TransPennine and West Coast were returned to the public sector.

The research – carried out by Transport for Quality of Life– estimates that season tickets would be 10% cheaper if routes coming up for tender were run by the public sector.

GS Mick Whelan, EC members Dave Calfe, Marz Colombini, Andy Hourigan and Howard Kaye joined members to hand out postcards highlighting the huge cost of rail privatisation to commuters arriving in London at Waterloo.

EC president Tosh McDonald handed out postcards - wearing a natty tee-shirt with the same message - at Barnsley in south Yorkshire.

The postcards, which call on MPs to put people before profits, and return our railways to public ownership, were well-received by passengers fed up with paying over the odds to the privatised TOCs.

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