Campaigners call for public ownership as fares rise nearly three times faster than wages

Action for Rail protest at London Waterloo station, August 18 2015
Action for Rail protest at London Waterloo station, August 18 2015

Campaigners gathered at over 30 stations across England and Scotland yesterday (August 18), from London Waterloo to Glasgow Central, to protest another rise in rail fares and to call for an affordable railway under public ownership. Members of rail unions, campaigning groups and others came together as the inflation figure used to calculate the annual rise in regulated rail fares was announced.

Action for Rail published new analysis yesterday revealing that rail fares for season tickets, and other regulated fares, have risen nearly three times faster than wages over the last five years. The government has announced plans to cap rises in regulated fares at the Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation for this parliament. But the Department for Transport’s own figures reveal the cost of the cap to taxpayers will be £700m!

Research commissioned by Action for Rail earlier this year showed that public ownership could save £1.5bn over the next five years,  with savings passed on to passengers and taxpayers – season tickets alone could be 10 per cent cheaper by 2017! A third of the savings (£520m) would come from recouping the money private train companies pay in dividends to their shareholders.

Aware of the real costs of rail privatisation and the benefits of public ownership, campaigners took action for rail. Well done to everyone who took action today. Why not help us keep up the pressure by emailing your MP! Click on this link to send a letter today: http://bit.ly/1OPTtzp

Here is a selection of photos from the day:
Action for Rail at London Waterloo station - August 18 2015. Left to right: Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF; Paul Nowak, Assistant General Secretary, TUC; Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA; Steve Hedley, Assistant General Secretary, RMT
Action for Rail at London Waterloo station – August 18 2015. Left to right: Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF; Paul Nowak, Assistant General Secretary, TUC; Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA; Steve Hedley, Assistant General Secretary, RMT
Action for Rail campaign postcard
Action for Rail campaign postcard
Action for Rail campaigners at Burton station - August 18 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Burton station – August 18 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Derby station - 18 August 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Derby station – 18 August 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Wolverhampton station - 18 August 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Wolverhampton station – 18 August 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Worcester Foregate Street station - 18 August 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Worcester Foregate Street station – 18 August 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Bristol Temple Meads station - August 18 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Bristol Temple Meads station – August 18 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Swindon station - August 18 2015
Action for Rail campaigners at Swindon station – August 18 2015

 

Here is a selection of media coverage:

Rail privatisation – ‘the economics of the madhouse’
BBC Radio 4 Today, interview with Paul Nowak, TUC Assistant General Secretary


Rail fares to rise by 1% in January
BBC News

Unions protest as rail fares rise three times faster than wages over five yearsThe Guardian

Rail fares forecast to rise 1% after latest inflation data, The Guardian

Rail fares have risen by 25% since 2010 – Left Foot Forward

Rail fares rise ‘three times faster’ than wages, Sky News

Fares rise three times faster than wagesMorning Star

Report claims train commuters left ‘ out of pocket’Financial Times

Rail fares will rise 1% in January, Financial Times

Rail fares rise leaves commuters ‘out of pocket’, Manchester Evening News

Rail prices set to rise AGAIN: Train tickets set to go up by 1% in January after jumping 3.1% over the past year, Daily Mail

 The great train robbery – fares rise three times faster than wagesThe Daily Express

Train passengers pay price of investment with their rail faresWestern Daily Press

Rail fares to rise by 1%ITV News

Rail fare hikes ‘leave wages behind’Yorkshire Evening Post

Train fares rise ‘three times faster than wages’ over five yearsLondon24

Commuters count cost as rail fare rise of one per cent announcedOxford Mail