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03/01/2020 - Another rail price hike from the privateers

crosscountryEvery year it's the same - another rail price hike from the privatised rail companies. This year, fares have been put up by an average of 2.7 percent. Good news for only their shareholders. Everyone else pays more for a disjointed, and often very poor service.

The chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, Darren Shirley, said: “January’s above-inflation fare rise will no doubt leave passengers dismayed after years of appalling service.”

Labour said fares had risen at double the rate of wages over the decade and that public ownership would bring affordable fares for all. The shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said: “Passengers should see their fares fall in January, not another rise.”

Association of British Commuters co-founder Emily Yates said of the price rise: “It feels like Groundhog Day, to be honest. It’s a complete charade.

“Every year we ask for a fares freeze. The government says no and the rail industry defends the decision.”

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Once again, the privatised train companies are telling passengers to pay more for poorer service and that’s not a great offer, is it?

“Not for passengers, not for businesses and not for the British economy — which needs a modern rail network to move people, packages and freight around this country.”

“We are calling for Britain’s railways to be brought back into public ownership. That will bring down fares, while the profits can be reinvested in our railway instead of being shipped abroad in dividends to shareholders.”

Pat Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity said: "ASLEF, the RMT, and other unions are right to call for renationalisation of our rail network. The vast majority of the British people back this."