Rail fare increase: Are Harlow commuters being “priced out of getting to work?”
News / Tue 2nd Jan 2018 am31 06:34am
AVERAGE rail ticket prices have risen by 3.4% across the UK, in the biggest increase to fares since 2013 reports the BBC.
Protests are planned at some 40 stations, as many commuters see their season tickets go up by more than £100.
Campaigners warned that many people were “being priced out of getting to work”.
The Department of Transport said price rises were capped in line with inflation.
Commuter routes that are now more expensive include Liverpool to Manchester (up £108 to £3,152), Maidenhead to London (up £104 to £3,092) and Elgin to Inverness (up £100 to £2,904).
Fare increases to regulated fares are calculated using the previous July’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation.
Bruce Williamson, of campaign group Railfuture, called for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation measure to be used for regulated fare increases instead.
The CPI is generally lower than the RPI and is used by the government to work out increases in benefits and pensions.
Mr Williamson argued that if CPI had been used rather than RPI since 2004, rail fares would be 17% lower.
He said people were being priced out of getting to work, with British rail fares among “the most expensive in Europe”.
Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT), accused the government of choosing to “snub rail passengers” while fuel duty continued to be frozen.
“The extra money that season ticket holders will have to fork out this year is almost as much as drivers will save,” Mr Joseph said.
“That doesn’t seem fair to us.”
Meanwhile, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said the need for public ownership of the railways had “never been more popular or necessary”.
The Department for Transport said that 97p out of every £1.00 paid by rail passengers went back into the railway.
“We are investing in the biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian times,” a spokesman added.
“This includes the first trains running through London on the Crossrail project, an entirely new Thameslink rail service, and continuing work on the transformative Great North Rail Project.
If all train drivers, who have turned down a pay rise which will increase their salary to £68.000, plus, and are asking for more, and a no redundancy clause, backed up by the various unions, who do you expect will pick up the bill ? In the mid seventies,a rail strike was held for more money, better conditions etc. So, BR had contracts with the newspaper federation to deliver printed matter, nationally. The contract obviously couldn't be kept. So, outside transport was brought in to cover the deliveries. First week-end, £75.00 per man, per night. Print unions decided that this wasn't enough, so the nights work went up to £125.00 per night and ten shillings extra, for breakfast. TAX FREE. So, guess who picked up that massive bill , just for the Sunday Times, spot on, BR = the public. Are we heading down that road again ? If CORBYN gets in !! VOTE Labour at your PERIL.
At no point have rail bosses blamed the unions for the increase in prices. They are claiming rail improvements are to blame. However someone working at Harlow train station said "The bosses want a new mansion" Privatization is ripping us off. Whether or not nationalization is the cure is another discussion. What is certain though is that if teh railways were nationalized there would at least be someone who is accountable to us all!! Currently the Tory transport minister is declining interviews. The public are right now subsidizing the railways more than they were when they were British Rail, yet we are all continually charged more. That's why we are all entitled to be furious!!
So the thousands being offered to rail staff has nothing to do with fare increases or the strikes then ? All the fault of the Tories I suppose ! Vote Labour at your Peril.
Latest news on Wed 3rd. Unions are hopeful that the price increases by the various rail companies, will allow them to claim more wage increases than they had hoped for. Who needs Corbyn ? It's plain to see that parts of the country are being run by the unions. Vote LABOUR at YOUR peril.