Cut fares, not Guards

Highest New Year rail fare hikes in five years worsen the cost of living crisis

A new RMT study has revealed that rises in rail season tickets by 3.6 per cent and fares on average by 3.4 per cent is over 50 per cent more than the increase in earnings over the last year alone.

RMT protests at around forty stations around the country when passengers return to work on January 2 also revealed that fares have increased five times the rate of public sector pay awards and at twice the speed of average earnings since 2010.

Members of the RMT Trade Union protest against the increase in rail fares being introduced by transport companies on the first working day of 2018. Protests were at Kings cross and Paddington stations in London. 2-1-18

The average commuter also pays over 10 per cent of their net income on fares, with some commuters paying as much as 20 per cent.

As a result many people are being priced off the railways and if you are on the National Living Wage you could spend on average 20 per cent of your wages on fares.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said that another eye-watering New Year fare hike will make it even harder for workers to get by.

“The private operators and government say the rises are to fund investment but the reality is that they are pocketing the profits while passengers are paying more for less with rail engineering work being delayed or cancelled, skilled railway jobs being lost and staff cut on trains, stations and at ticket offices.

“It’s a national scandal that private profit comes before public safety on our rail network.

“Even worse, with 75 per cent of Britain’s railways in other countries hands, it is the British people, paying the highest fares in Europe, who are subsidising state-run rail operations in Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam while the Tory government refuses to even consider the public ownership option in their own back yard.

“The answer to this racket is to return Britain’s railways to public ownership and end to this gross profiteering at the fare-payers’ expense,” he said.