Pricing off the railway

15 August 2016

Rail fares have increased at double the speed of wages since 2010, according to new analysis released tomorrow by the TUC. Analysis shows thatfares have risen by 25% in the last six years, while average weekly earnings have only grown by 12%. The findings come as the government gets set to announce another round of regulated rail fare increases for the coming year. And as fares for passengers rise, dividends paid to shareholders of private train companies soared by 21% in the last 12 months to £222 million.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, said: 'Once more the passengers and taxpayers will wonder why they must pay more for an increasingly poor service. When will the government and the Department for Transport listen to those impacted by daft decisions and what is patently only good for the vested interests? Are we back to pricing people off the railway as a solution to overcrowding and inability to deliver?'

Mick will be at Exit 1 of London Bridge Station,used by GTR services such as Southern rail, at 8am tomorrow [Tuesday 16 August] as rail unions and campaigners protest about the fare increase and call for public ownership of the railways. Similar protests will take place at various stations across the UK.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said: 'Passengers are paying more and getting even less. Fares go up while trains remain overcrowded, stations are unstaffed, and rail companies cut the guards who ensure journeys run smoothly and safely. Enough is enough. It’s time for rail services to be publicly owned, saving money for passengers and taxpayers alike. Instead of increasing fares and cutting staff,we should be building an accessible, reliable train service that Britain can be proud of.'

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