Time to end rip-off fares hikes, says RMT
Publication Date: November 27 2007
ANOTHER ROUND of rip-off rail-fare increases will drive more people off trains and into cars, Britain’s biggest rail union says today.
As rail operators prepared to announce the usual ahead-of-inflation increases for regulated fares and hikes as high as 14 per cent on some un-regulated off-peak tickets, RMT called for an end to private-sector profiteering.
“Talk about the need to reduce carbon emissions is just so much hot air if the privateer train operators are allowed to impose another round of rip-off rail-fare rises,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today
“The private franchises are interested only in lining their shareholders’ pockets, yet the failure to impose a sensible fares policy is having a direct effect on the environment, as more and more people who should be on trains take to their cars.
“The government promised to take fares policy in hand, but the privateers have once more been given the given the green light to fill their boots with passengers’ and taxpayers’ money.
“We need substantial investment in greater capacity and new lines, yet the private sector is allowed to drain £1 billion a year from the railway industry.
“The private sector has proved over and over again that it is incapable of running the railways as a public service, and the franchising system stands as a barrier to the growing, affordable railway that the environment and the economy need.
“We need a fares and ticketing structure designed to encourage people out of their cars and onto trains and a joined-up transport policy capable of delivering extra capacity to cope with growing demand
“Ultimately that means we need a public railway run in the interests of the public, and the time has come to start bringing the franchises back into the public sector in a single, coherent public body,” Bob Crow said.