Love Trains, Hate High Fares

The Alliance for Jobs and Climate, TSSA rail union and  ACT! have teamed up with several other organisations to bring you the #FareFail protests. On Thursday 14th of February, Valentine’s day, we are planning a series of protests for those who love trains but hate high fares. We want to be at as many railway stations as possible. If you can volunteer, visit this page and register.

Our over-priced rail fares have been hiked again! Ten years in a row we have had above inflation fares rises forced on us. Our trains are already the most expensive in Europe!

Average train fares have increased almost three times faster than wages, with prices now 26% higher than they were before the recession. Yet you continue to be stuck in overcrowded, unreliable trains, with fewer staff on trains and at stations.

The Government are letting the train companies rob you blind – now is the time to bring the railways into public ownership, to bring down fares, and help cut carbon emissions.

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that the threat from man-made climate change is enormous. As Sir David King, formerly the Government’s chief scientific advisor, argued ‘Climate Change is the biggest threat to humanity that we have ever known, bigger than terrorism’.

  Why do we love trains?

Transport is responsible for almost a quarter (23%) of global greenhouse gas emissions so trains are especially useful for replacing air and road travel. A shift to buses and trains would cut transport CO2 emissions by 80%. However, high rail fares means that it is often cheaper and easier for commuters not to use public transport. Many blame the current economic climate for the rail fare hike, calling it ‘inevitable’. The real cost of ever increasing rail fares are doing more damage to the pockets of ordinary people and to the planet.

Additionally, rail will play a key role in building a sustainable future. High-speed trains can replace many domestic and European flights and we need to transfer freight (lorries) from road to rail. To clean up our act important improvements to the railway infrastructure, including electrification sourced by renewable energies and gauge clearance, will be required.

What can we do?

We need to join together and put pressure on the government to take responsibility and ensure that rail capacity is increased. Following the privatisation of the of the UK railways in the early 1990s we have resulted in receiving an unsatisfactory and expensive service. The interest of the railway operators is primarily commercial to maximise their profit for shareholders, not to keep ticket prices down. We also need to demonstrate to the rail companies that the people of Britain will not stand for this.

And if you weren’t convinced already…

The ‘Rebuilding Railway’ report, released in summer 2012, exposes the huge costs billed to the taxpayer for propping up the most fragmented and privatised railway system in Europe. The report states:

  • Public money going into the railways has increased from around £2.4 billion per year before privatisation to approximately £5.4 billion per year now.
  • The cumulative cost of privatisation has been more than £11 billion of public funds.
  • In Europe, between 80% and 100% of passenger train services are provided by the public sector.
  • Chief Executives at train operating companies and at Network Rail typically receive remuneration packages of £640,000 to £1.35 million per year.
  • Train operators pay tax at a rate far below the headline 30% corporation tax rate. In 2005 they paid an average of just 3.8% tax.

It’s simply unjust as the public are continually losing out. So watch this space for more details and join us this valentines if you love trains as much as we do!

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