New year, new rail fare rise

New year, new rail fare rise
Picture: Jo Rust

Commuters are now spending an average of 2.7% more on rail fares since the New Year.

Demonstrators lined the front of King’s Lynn rail station on Thursday 2 January to protest against national rail fare increases and to hand out leaflets to commuters.

A large number of commuters now face paying out an extra £100 for annual passes, despite official statistics revealing that just over one in three trains failed to arrive on time in July, August and September 2019.

The demonstrators, headed by Labour councillor Jo Rust, were campaigning to bring train services back into public ownership, which they argue is to stop passengers having to fund railway upgrades while operating companies continue to pocket profits.

The campaign is led by King’s Lynn and District Trades Council who demonstrate twice a year on the issue.

They state that many operators pay below the market rate to publicly owned infrastructure operator Network Rail to run their trains on our tracks – with Network Rail debts now above £50 billion.

Trades Council secretary Jo Rust said:

“We believe rail services should be brought back into public control to avoid passengers paying twice for their rail fare rise. They pay both through general taxation, which funds the mismanaged Network Rail, and then through the rail fare increase which goes straight into the pockets of private rail companies; companies who often don’t pay their fair share to use the tracks in the first place. We’re being taken for a ride!”

The fare increase follows independent watchdog Transport Focus’ report which found that fewer than half of train journeys (47%) are rated as satisfactory value for money by passengers.

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