CAMPAIGNERS CALL FOR PUBLIC OWNERSHIP AND AFFORDABLE FARES – AS TRAIN FARES RISE TWICE AS FAST AS WAGES

Action for Rail campaigners at London Bridge station, 16 August 2016, joined by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP and Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald MP
Action for Rail campaigners at London Bridge station, 16 August 2016, joined by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP and Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald MP

Action for Rail campaigners gathered at over 50 stations across England, Scotland and Wales today (August 16th) to protest a rise in rail fares and support the campaign for a publicly owned railway with affordable fares. This morning the government announced a 1.9% increase in the cost of train tickets in line with the inflation figure used to calculate the annual rise in regulated rail fares (RPI).

New analysis from the Action for Rail campaign shows that fares have risen at double the speed of wages – an increase of 25% in the last six years, yet average weekly wages have only gone up by 12%. While passengers pay more for rail services, dividends paid to rail company shareholders increased by 21% in the past year – to £222m.

Passengers are paying more, but getting less. Trains are often cancelled, delayed, overcrowded and understaffed. On top of this, more ticket offices are closing, guards are being removed from trains, driver-only operations are being extended and there are fewer staff at stations to provide help when we need it.  The train companies are putting profit before affordable fares and passenger safety. The government is sticking to this failed privatisation model, even though 62% of the public support returning train operating companies to public ownership.

Action for Rail campaign card - Rip-Off Central
Action for Rail campaigners asked passengers at London Bridge station to write to their MPs

At London Bridge, Action for Rail were joined by leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn MP, Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald MP, and leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, who support the call for affordable rail fares under a publicly owned railway. Southern Railway commuters shared their frustration about the continued delays and cuts to train services. Southern Rail is a franchising failure and needs to be brought under public ownership. We know public ownership can work – evidence shows that the publicly owned East Coast was a success story before being moved back under a private company.

Thank you to everyone who took action for rail, from Sheffield to Brighton to Berwick-on-Tweed, to demand an affordable railways under public ownership. Help us end the #railripoff by writing to your MP: bit.ly/2augyO6 

@actionforrail

Action for Rail campaigners at Burton-on-Trent station
Action for Rail campaigners at Burton-on-Trent station
Action for Rail campaigners at Berwick station
Action for Rail campaigners at Berwick-upon-Tweed station
Action for Rail at Sheffield station
Action for Rail campaigners at Sheffield station
Action for Rail campaigners at Liverpool Lime Street station
Action for Rail campaigners at Liverpool Lime Street station
Action for Rail campaigners at Derby station
Action for Rail campaigners at Derby station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action for Rail campaigners at Bromley South station (London)
Action for Rail campaigners at Bromley South station (London)
Action for Rail campaigners at Lincoln station
Action for Rail campaigners at Lincoln station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action for Rail campaigners at Norwich station
Action for Rail campaigners at Norwich station
Action for Rail campaigners at Wolverhampton station
Action for Rail campaigners at Wolverhampton station