“PEOPLE HAVE HAD ENOUGH” – GREENS SPEAK OUT AGAINST MASSIVE RAIL FARE HIKE
Rail fares are due to rise by 6.2% from January 2013, the Government announced today – sparking a demonstration at Brighton station and a series of protests at train stations across the country.
Train companies are permitted to increase fares by 3% above the July Retail Prices Index measure of inflation, which now stands at 3.2%.
The planned rises could result in some season tickets costing £1,000 more in 2015 than in 2011, with some commuters potentially paying 11.2% more for their tickets thanks to rules allowing train operators to charge an extra 5%.
Local Greens who joined the protest at Brighton station this morning spoke to commuters about the challenges they now face in meeting the cost of travelling to work.
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
“It’s been one massive rail fare hike after another and people have had enough.
“The local commuters I’ve spoken to say they are really struggling – one man told me he recently had to hand his notice in for his job in London because he can no longer afford to get there.
“When people are struggling to find jobs and meet increasing living costs, these huge rail fares make no economic sense.
“This government actually promised to end above inflation rail fares – in light of today’s announcement, we now need to hold them to account.”
Alex Phillips, Green councillor for Goldsmid, said:
“The government seems happy to allow rail companies to charge exorbitant fares while doing little to reduce over-crowding or improve the South East’s trains or rail network.
“Government railway subsidy is massive – much higher than in British Rail days – yet we have some of Europe’s highest fares coupled with travelling conditions that almost force passengers away.
“The problem is the siphoning of taxpayer subsidy into shareholder profits instead of investment in the rolling stock and network.
“Instead of ever higher subsidies and poorer services, the Green Party’s answer is renationalisation.”