Train fare increases are an insult to everyone who has suffered from the chaos on Britain’s railways
To coincide with confirmation of the 3.2% train fares hike this morning, Labour has compared the costs on several train routes across the north between when the Conservatives came to power and the projected new prices that will be implemented this January 2019.
The average commuter in the UK will now be paying £2,980 for their season ticket, £786 more than in 2010.
New figures released today by Labour show:
- Those travelling from Newcastle Berwick will pat 36% more than in 2010.
- Traveling from Saltburn to Middlesbrough route will be paying 34% more
- Fares between Whitehaven and Carlisle will have increased by 30%
- Average fares have risen more than three times faster than wages.
- The amount by which train companies can raise regulated fares is the responsibility of the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. He has the power to enforce this but he’s choosing not to, instead only writing a “pathetic” letter to the trade unions unfairly asking rail staff to accept a pay cap.
- By making no similar request for the bosses of train companies to take a pay cut or for shareholders to refuse dividends, he is letting the train companies off the hook yet again.
- Labour has committed to keeping fares down and pegged to no more than a rise of CPI. Labour has also called on the Government to freeze rail fares on the routes most severely affected by the timetable changes – Govia Thameslink, Arriva Rail North and First Transpennine Express.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“Today’s train fare increases are an insult to everyone who has suffered from the chaos on Britain’s railways.
“The Government’s shambolic mismanagement of our railways has been a national embarrassment and they must now step in to freeze fares charged on the worst performing routes.
“Labour will take back control of our railways by bringing them into public ownership so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.”
Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to Chris Grayling’s comments on rail fare increases, said:
”This is a pathetic attempt by Chris Grayling to shift the blame for Tory fares policy. The amount by which train companies can raise regulated fares is the responsibility of the Transport Secretary. He has the power to enforce this, he’s just choosing not to.
“The Secretary of State has washed his hands of years of industrial action on the railway, saying it was the responsibility of train companies, but is now intervening over staff pay. At best this is a distraction technique and at worse a recipe for years of industrial action.
“Chris Grayling made no similar request for the bosses of train companies to take a pay cut or for shareholders to refuse dividends. The men and women who run the railway are being singled out while greedy train companies are let off the hook yet again.
“The truth is that our fragmented, privatised railway drives up costs and leaves passengers paying more for less, not staff.
“The railways need serious reform, not a plea to train companies, but Ministers are persisting with a failed model of privatisation that is punishing passengers and taxpayers. Instead, Labour would use money saved from bringing passenger services into public ownership to cap regulated fare rises at the Consumer Price Index.”