The announcement of a 2.8% increase in rail fares from January 2020 is deeply unfair.
New research from Labour shows that average fares have risen nearly three times faster than wages, and are 40% higher than they were in 2010.
The Transport Secretary tells us he is ‘not delighted’ with the fare increases announced for January. I can tell him that millions of rail passengers across the country feel the same way, but they see a government that has completely failed to get to grips with eye-watering rail fare increases over recent years.
Yet again, passengers are being asked to subsidise private rail companies which all too often provide an inadequate level of service – I know that commuters in my constituency have had a guts full of overcrowded and unreliable cross-border services, for example. How can we be serious about tackling the climate emergency when the costs of rail season tickets are actively putting people off travelling by train?
This week’s announcement is another blow for commuters, and is further evidence of the need to bring our railways back into public ownership – run for passengers, not profits.