Tag Archives: Fair Fares

Fair fares: A protest in Stroud

??????????
This morning I joined a handful of others outside Stroud train station to protest at the latest hike in rail fares and to call for the renationalisation of the First-Great-Western franchise.

Why? Well, where to start. Figures show that the average rail season ticket in the UK has now risen to £2,191. This, put another way, is equivalent to 8% of the median UK salary. Even more depressingly, this is considerably higher than the £1,441 average fuel cost of driving to work.

But it gets worse. There are sections of the UK rail network now where you pay as much as £6 a mile.

The trains in the UK are bloody expensive. This is at least in part due to the last 20 years of privatisation. The Rebuilding Rail report put the cost of the privatisation of the railways at £1.2bn a year. Or again, put another way, enough money to cut the average rail fare by 18%.

These ticket prices mean that for many trains are simply an unaffordable luxury. This restricts social mobility and also drives climate change as people opt for their own carbon intensive forms of transport.

So, the question then is not why was I stood outside a station protesting but more why were you not stood with me?

Never fear though…there is always something you can do. Write to your MP and ask them to support the recently launched Private Members Bill which, if adopted, “Requires the Secretary of State to assume control of passenger rail franchises when they come up for renewal”.

The last 20 year tell us that governments are happy for train services to be run for private profit not the public good. It’s up to us to tell them that we want our trains running for the public good.

UPDATE:

Soon after publishing Molly Scott Cato, The Green Party lead candidate for the South West European Parliament elections, contacted me to highlight this e-petition – please do also sign the petition.

1 Comment

Filed under Economics, Politics

Trains are a “rich man’s toy”

A rich man's toy

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond yesterday told MPs that the British railways are a “rich man’s toy”. I would support him in this statement if it was not his government that was putting train travel out of reach for ordinary people.

UK rail fares are the most expensive in the world already. New Labour has to take some responsibility for that. In light of this already bleak situation though, I find it incomprehensible how this government can justify increasing rail fares by 3% on top of inflation from January 2012.

To put this into context, this will add an additional £1,300 for some season tickets. By the end of this parliament, thanks to this government’s policy, rail fares will be 28% more expensive. People are not going to make the modal shift in transport use away from cars that we so desperately need unless there is a real incentive.

If you are as outraged as I am then support the Fair Fares Now campaign and sign this petition.

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Politics