From: Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT Union.
YET another rail fare hike is just corporate welfare for the greedy train companies on an industrial scale (The Yorkshire Post, August 14 and 15).
With the colossal sums bled out of our railways by private companies, including the £1.2bn ripped-off by the rolling stock outfits as exposed by RMT, it is crystal clear that a return to public ownership would free up the funds needed to both hold down fares and invest in services.
The private rail racket has left Britain’s passengers paying the highest fares in Europe to travel on clapped out and unreliable services. It is time for it to end.
Our railways have a vital part to play in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions from transport. But they need to be affordable, sustainable and accessible to all. Instead, huge amounts of hard cash are siphoned out of our railways as private shareholder profit rather than being reinvested in the network. Only 10 per cent of stations are fully staffed yet UK passengers are getting ripped off on a daily basis. The increase will only serve to make the rail network less affordable for the travelling public.
Privatisation is at odds with an affordable and sustainable rail network – we need a publicly owned and nationally integrated railway now.