On Wednesday, I called on the government to end its rail rip-off as the cost of train tickets went up yet again. As of this week, the average commuter will be paying £2,980 for their season ticket, £786 more than in 2010. Some commuters are now paying over £2,850 more to travel to work than in 2010!
The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, and the Tory government are failing rail passengers. While prices soar, performance is in decline and promised investment has been scrapped.
For too long, Britain’s privatised rail system has put profit before the provision of a good public service. A minimum estimate is that £725 million flows out of the railway every year to shareholders of private train firms.
Yet, despite these profits, train punctuality is at a 13-year low with one in seven trains missing their target of arriving within five minutes of scheduled time. And to further increase profits, Northern Rail wants to introduce Driver Only Operation (DOO), which will endanger passengers by removing guards from our trains. In response, I’ve campaigned with RMT workers who are fighting against Northern Rail’s plans.
A Labour government will bring our railways back into public ownership, which will do away with costly franchise competitions, profiteering, and waste caused by duplication. It’s time for our railways to serve the interests of passengers, not private profit.