Fares rise twice as fast as wages – passengers deserve a railway that puts people before profit


Passengers, commuters and campaigners gathered at over 100 stations across the UK today (3rd January) to protest the further rise in rail fares, and to call on a publicly owned railway that puts people before profit.

The Action for Rail campaign today released figures showing that UK passengers pay six times more for their train fares than their European counterparts in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Recent increases mean that rail fares are going up by 2.3% on average in 2017, so passengers will feel even more of a squeeze on their pockets after the festive period.

Action for Rail’s research also found that, over the last ten years, rail fares have increased more than twice as much as average earnings have in the same time period (55% for rail fares, but only 24% for wages!)

Passengers are paying more, but getting less. Trains are often cancelled, delayed, overcrowded and understaffed. While passengers pay more for the rail services, the dividends paid to rail company shareholders was £222m in 2014/15 – a whopping increase of 21% on the previous year. Instead of reinvesting the money back into the railways – to ensure the trains run on time, the rail network is properly staffed and passengers’ fares are affordable – your money is lining the pockets of shareholders.

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.

This morning, Action for Rail campaigners and Labour party activists asked King’s Cross passengers to write to their MPs, and put pressure on the government to support affordable fares, public ownership and a properly staffed railway.

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 Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport calling on him to put people before profit.

To see more photo’s visit us on twitter: @actionforrail


Pictures from this morning – more to come!

Bradford Forster Square