We Own It | Your rail fares up again – time for public ownership!

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Rail privatisation has failed – we want public ownership

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You can’t be sure your train will arrive on time. But you can be sure that your fares will go up above inflation, every January, regular as clockwork.

The report Rebuilding Rail by Transport for Quality of Life notes that if the railway was in public ownership it would save us all £1.2 billion a year, which could be ploughed right back into lower ticket prices.*

We think it’s time to join the dots. Passengers are paying too much because our privatised railway is wildly expensive. Privatisation has failed.

So this week we released new polling – covered on Sky News, in the Guardian and the Mirror. It’s pretty damning:

•    Only 1% of people think privatisation has been a complete success
•    58% think rail privatisation has failed, with 28% saying it’s a complete failure
•    Nearly half of us think fares would be lower under public ownership (only 13% think they would be higher)

You can see the polling here and add your thoughts to the quotes from our allies in Labour, the Green Party, Action for Rail, Bring Back British Rail and Transport for Quality of Life.

This 1 minute video sums up why we think the railway should be run for people not profit:

Rail fares up again – it’s time for public ownership!

The public is behind us. But the government won’t change track unless we force it to. That’s why we need an army of people ready to say loudly and clearly: our privatised railway isn’t working. We pay for it, we use it, we own it – hand it over.

The chaos on Southern Rail services shows the problems caused by privatisation – like profits coming before safety. Look out for our polling on that coming out next week…

Let’s make 2017 the year the travelling public started to win the fight for public ownership.

Sign up for a railway run for people not profit

Rail privatisation has failed – we want public ownership

http://www.transportforqualityoflife.com/u/files/120630_Rebuilding_Rail_Final_Report_print_version.pdfChris Grayling: Your plans for our railways are out of step with what the public want. We demand that you bring our railways into public ownership and drop plans to privatise rail infrastructure.

Action For Rail | End #RailRipOff. Take action for public ownership

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04 January 2016

End #RailRipOff. Take action for public ownership

#railripoff

In January, passengers returning to work after Christmas will see their fares rise yet again.

Commuters in the UK spend up to 6x as much of their salary on rail fares than passengers using publicly-owned railways in France, Germany, Spain and Italy – according to new analysis published by Action for Rail today. We have the highest commuter fares in Europe, yet our services are often overcrowded, late and under-staffed.

The comparably high costs of the UK’s privatised railways are reflected in public opinion. A new poll for Action for Rail of 1,719 UK adults by YouGov in December 2015 found that:

  • 61 per cent thought that train services in the UK were bad value for money.
  • Only 54 per cent thought that train services in the UK were punctual.
  • 62 per cent thought that fares would be cheaper if train companies weren’t trying to make a profit.
  • 62 per cent support bringing train companies back into public ownership.

Please email your MP and ask them to support our call for an affordable railway under public ownership that puts people before profit.

To get started, enter your postcode and click “Participate”.

UK government data provided by GovEval.

 

Take Action Now: Ask your MP to support an affordable railway under public ownership

TUC | UK commuters spend up to six times as much of their salary on rail fares as other European passengers

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04 January 2016

UK commuters spend up to six times as much of their salary on rail fares as other European passengers

Commuters on the UK’s privatised railways returning to work today (Monday) will face new fare increases, while spending up to six times as much of their salaries on rail fares as European passengers on publicly-owned railways, new analysis has revealed.

Action for Rail, a campaign by rail unions and the TUC, has compared average earnings with monthly season tickets on similar commuter routes across Europe.

The analysis looked at a UK worker on an average salary who is now spending 13% of their monthly wages on a £357.90 monthly season ticket from Chelmsford to London.

By contrast, the average amount of salary going on a monthly season ticket for a similar journey is just 2% in Italy, 3% in Spain and 4% in Germany.

Even in France, which is the closest to the UK for cost, commuters still spend nearly a third (30%) less on season tickets than their counterparts in the UK:

Country Monthly season ticket % of monthly median earnings

UK

£358

13%

Germany

£95

4%

France

£234

10%

Italy

£37

2%

Spain

£56

3%

The comparably high costs of the UK’s privatised railways are reflected by public opinion. A separate new poll for Action for Rail of 1,719 British adults by YouGov found that:

  • 61% say train services in the UK are bad value for money
  • 62% think that fares would be cheaper if train companies weren’t trying to make a profit
  • 62% support public ownership of train operating companies

The findings come as rail campaigners and workers plan to hold protests at over 60 stations around the country against fare rises and in support of public ownership.

The government point to regulated rail fare rises being capped at the rate of inflation. But Action for Rail says the public will pay for this cap through taxes amounting to £700m over the next five years.

Research shows that more than double this (£1.5bn) could be saved over the same period if the rail franchises up for renewal were returned to the public sector. Researchers at Transport for Quality of Life have estimated that this could fund a 10% reduction in season tickets and other regulated fares from 2017.

Rail campaigners, passengers and rail unions will be outside London Kings Cross mainline station (on the edge of Kings Cross Square) at 8am today (4 January) handing out mock tickets to passengers, which highlight the high costs of fares and privatisation and call for public ownership of the railways.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“It’s hardly surprising that UK passengers think rail travel is bad value for money. They are shelling out far more of their income on rail fares than their counterparts in Europe.

“Years of failed privatisation have left us with exorbitant ticket prices, overcrowded trains and ageing infrastructure. Ministers need to wake-up to this reality instead of allowing train companies to milk the system at taxpayers’ and commuters’ expense.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“Today is national rail rip off day when, along with the looming Christmas credit card bills, the British public awake to another kick in the teeth from the greedy private train companies. We would urge everyone to join with the trade unions to end the money making racket on our rail tracks in 2016. “

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:

“Profit made on passengers in the UK is not reinvested here, but repatriated to Germany, France, Belgium and Hong Kong to subsidise journeys of passengers there. We need a railway for the future – that means a publicly owned rail service operating in the interests of British passengers, with every penny made in profit reinvested in the railways or in cheaper fares for passengers. “

Unite acting national officer for rail Hugh Roberts said:

“European state-owned rail companies provide excellent services and cheaper fares as part of coherent national economic strategies. The UK government’s ideological reliance on the profit-hungry private sector has been a disaster – and the majority of the public wants the railways taken back into public ownership.”

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said:

“Taking the railways back into public hands is a popular policy. The vast majority of voters – Conservative included – are fed up with paying sky-high fares so the privatised train companies can take their slice. Commuters travelling into London from Kent and Sussex know their £5,000 a year season tickets would be much cheaper under public ownership.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

– Action for Rail looked at the price of season tickets in five EU countries and compared with 2014 annual median full-time earnings, based on OECD statistics.

From To Distance (miles) Monthly season ticket £ Monthly median earnings -full time % of monthly median earnings
UK Chelmsford London

29

£358

£2,745

13%

Germany Eberswalde Berlin

31

£95

£2,452

4%

France Etampes Paris

29

£234

£2,422

10%

Italy Cerveteri Ladispoli Rome

29

£37

£1,929

2%

Spain Arenys de Mar Barcelona

27

£56

£1,805

3%

– Salary income was taken from: https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=AV_AN_WAGE
– Income and season ticket costs have been converted using the relevant exchanges rates in this table http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/uktrade/uk-trade/october-2015/stb-uk-trade–october-2015.html

– All polling figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,719 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th and 14th December 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

– Transport for Quality of Life research showing potential savings of publicly-owned rail: http://bit.ly/1HO4cqx

– Action for Rail brings together the TUC, ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite to work with passenger groups, rail campaigners and environmentalists to campaign against cuts to rail services and staffing and to promote the case for integrated, national rail under public ownership. For more information about the actions please visit www.actionforrail.org

TUC | Rail fares have risen by 25 per cent since 2010

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18 August 2015

Rail fares have risen by 25 per cent since 2010, TUC analysis reveals

Rail fares for season tickets, and other regulated fares, have risen nearly three times faster than wages over the last five years, according to new analysis published today (Tuesday) by the TUC and the rail unions’ Action for Rail campaign.

The analysis shows that between 2010 and 2015 fares increased by 25 per cent, while average pay went up by just 9 per cent.

The government has announced plans to cap annual increases in regulated rail fares at the Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation for this parliament. However, the public will finance the fare cap through paying their taxes. The capping of rail fares will cost taxpayers around £700 million over the next five years, according to Department for Transport figures.

The TUC says that far bigger savings could be passed onto passengers if services were run by the public sector. Research commissioned by Action for Rail shows that £1.5bn could be saved over the next five years if routes, including the Northern, Transpennine and West Coast Main Line, were returned to the public sector.

The research – carried out by Transport for Quality of Life – estimates that season tickets could be 10 per cent cheaper by 2017 if routes coming up for re-tender were run by the public sector.

A third (£520 million) of this £1.5bn saving would come from recouping the money private train companies pay in dividends to their shareholders.

The rail unions and the TUC’s Action for Rail campaign are marking today’s inflation figures with a protest at Waterloo station. Campaigners will hand out postcards highlighting the huge cost of rail privatisation. The postcards will call on MPs to put people before profits and return our railways to public ownership.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“Rail fares have rocketed over the last five years leaving many commuters seriously out of pocket.

“If ministers really want to help hard-pressed commuters they need to return services to the public sector. This is a fair, more sustainable option and it would allow much bigger savings to be passed on to passengers. Introducing an arbitrary cap on fares is simply passing the bill on to taxpayers.

“The government wants the public to subsidise train companies’ profits and bear the cost of the fares cap.”

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said:
“Once more, those who claim they want to make work pay devalue that statement with continual, excessive and unreasonable increases in fares.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“While train companies threaten to throw guards off their services and axe station staff who are essential for safety, turning the network into a paradise for criminals and yobs, they are milking the travelling public for all they can ‎through extortionate fares.

“Every penny of the fare rip-off is sucked out of the system in fat company profits, while crucial rail maintenance and upgrade works are shelved for lack of funds. ‎That’s the price of two decades of rail privatisation and the whole rotten business needs to be swept away and replaced by a public railway under public control.”

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:
“We have the most expensive rail fares in Europe and they have risen by over 200 per cent on the most popular routes since privatisation 20 years ago.

“We should follow the European example and run a publicly owned railway for the benefit of the travelling public, not the private rail firms.”

Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said:
“The TUC’s analysis once again reinforces the case that rail privatisation has been an unmitigated disaster for the taxpayer and the put-upon commuter.

“It makes strong economic sense to bring the railways back into public ownership and start the process of reducing rail fares, the highest in western Europe, for passengers who have had to endure the 25 per cent hike in rail fares since 2010.

“The only people to have benefited from rail privatisation are the shareholders of the rail companies who are scooping up large dividends. Railways should be for the public good and economic benefit of the UK and not just for a cartel of rail firms seemingly unable to cut fares.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:
Annual increase in average earnings and fares

Year Average earnings % Rail fares %
2011 2.7 7.1
2012 1.3 4.8
2013 1.3 4.2
2014 1.1 3.4
2015 2.2 3.4
Total 8.7 25.0

Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS) Consumer price indices (using the RPI measure of inflation), ONS Labour market statistics and TUC calculations

– 2015 figures are based on the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast for average weekly earnings and the January RPI figure for rail fares. The RPI figure published today will provide the basis for the rises in regulated rail fares from January 2016.
- Transport for Quality of Life research: http://bit.ly/1HO4cqx
- Action for Rail brings together the TUC, ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite to work with passenger groups, rail campaigners and environmentalists to campaign against cuts to rail services and staffing and to promote the case for integrated, national rail under public ownership.

For more information please visit www.actionforrail.org