Train companies laughing all the way to the bank

31 December 2017

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has condemned the sharp rise in rail fares at the start of the new year – the privatised train operating companies have put up fares by 3.6% while wages are rising by just 2.6% – saying that, once again, hard-pressed passengers are paying for rail firms to line the pockets of their shareholders.

 

‘It’s that time of the year, again, isn’t it?' said Mick. 'When passengers are attacked, taxpayers abused, and the privateers are laughing all the way to the bank. They think passengers are sheep waiting to be fleeced.

 

‘After years of austerity, when workers have not achieved pay increases at or around inflation, it is absolutely unfair that the industry they subsidise creates transport poverty and hurts the communities and industries that they should be supporting. This is, of course, without the scandalous cost of parking at certain key stations which is not taken into account.’

 

Mick added: ‘Passengers are paying the penalty fare for privatisation, a flawed and failing model that everyone in the rail industry can see doesn’t work. Hundreds of millions of pounds are haemhorraging from our industry every year - money desperately needed to improve our infrastructure, to continue with electrification, and reduce passenger fares which are among the highest in the world.’

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