Wednesday 2 January 2013

Greens back rail fare protests and renew call for renationalisation

Caroline Lucas, Green MP and other Sussex Greens this morning
 Green Party leader Natalie Bennett pledged the party's support  this morning's demonstrations against the further significant rise in rail fares as Green Brighton and Hove MP, Caroline Lucas, joined in the protests.. British rail fares have been hiked for 10 years in succession and our trains are now the most expensive in Europe.
Natalie said: 
Households already struggling with fast-rising rents, food prices and energy costs are going to suffer a new blow. Many households that consider themselves middle class, who only a few years ago were comfortably off, are now struggling, finding themselves able to make ends meet only by extreme economies ranging from skipping meals to unhealthily cutting heating.
Many others have already been priced off the rails – forced into convoluted, long bus journeys or into their cars when they’d rather not be, adding to congestion on our roads and increasing our greenhouse gas emissions.
Natalie added: 
All of this only highlights the sense of renationalising the railways, to save us the £1.2 billion additional costs caused by the fragmentation and profit-taking in the current system, as the Rebuilding Rail LINK report last year showed.
Privatisation has also given us a fragile, unreliable system in which fewer than 70% of trains run on time, i.e. within a minute, the measure used in much of the rest of Europe.
 There were, however, broader issues:.
Britons have the longest commutes in Europe, reflecting the concentration of job opportunities in larger centres, and high house prices, rents and the shortage of social housing.

We need to cut the cost of train travel, but we also need to reduce people’s need to travel.
This is one more reason why we need to look to rebuild strong local economies, promoting small businesses and cooperatives  that are growing food, making the goods we need and provide services on a local scale.
 The Green Party is backing the Fair Fares campaign which is supported by a coalition of rail passenger groups, rail unions and transport campaigners.


Anonymous said...

Higher fares for long-distance commuting is therefore a progressive move.

And those wanting subsidy should remember that half the population never uses trains.

Anonymous said...

If you would like to build the campaign near Willesden Green, join me in handing out #farefail fliers outside West Hampstead Thameslink Monday 7th Jan 2014 5.30pm I'm going for the High Vis look. More actions TBC