Green Party calls for end to failed privatisation experiment of national rail services.

28 November 2012

The Green Party is calling for the failed experiment in privatised rail to be allowed to end, after the impact of the tenth consecutive annual above-inflation ticket price increase was revealed.

Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett said: ‘There's very strong public support for renationalising the railways, and these price rises are only going to strengthen that. As the Rebuilding Rail report showed, privatisation is costing us £1.2 billion each year, and failing to deliver a reliable, innovative,
effective service.’

In August, the Coalition confirmed its plans to allow rail companies to increase prices by an average of 4.2 per cent, as of January 2 2013. This is one per cent above the rate of inflation, and marks a tenth consecutive real-terms increase in price for people travelling by rail.

Yesterday, Passenger Focus released figures which show some firms will be increasing prices by as much as 6.5 per cent.

In Brighton, for example, the full-price annual season ticket from Brighton to Travelcard zones 1-6 is set to be hiked from £4,644 to £4,928, a rise of 6.1 per cent.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: ‘The commuter rail fare rise is shocking, and comes in the same week as the news that our city is the worst affected in the south east by government council cuts. What has happened to David Cameron’s announcement last month that the average rise for the next two years would be capped at RPI plus 1 per cent?

‘People are already being badly hurt by the government’s disastrous economic mismanagement, council cuts and soaring energy bills. This is a scandalous rise, designed to keep shareholders well served while everyone else suffers the squeeze of so-called austerity.

‘Not only is this bad news for the environment but it is wrong that hard-working tax payers should have to foot the bill for profits and overseas shareholders. For both reasons, the Green Party is firmly committed to re-nationalising the railways – and three quarters of British voters now agree with us.’

Ms Bennett added: ‘Gradually bringing railways back under government control as contracts expire or are handed in is clearly the way forward, to rebuild a cost-effective, efficient and reliable service.’

To see how your rail fare will be affected, visit: http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/seasonticket/tickets


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