Corbyn: Train fare rises are an "insult" to commuters

Jeremy Corbyn has slammed the government, after they announced a 3.2 per cent price hike for commuters on Britian's railways. 

The average commuter will now be paying £2,980 for their season ticket, £786 more than in 2010.

That some commuters will be paying over £2,850 more to travel to work than in 2010. The highest increase was on a Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston which will have risen by £2,874 since 2010 and now costs £10,902.

Average fares have also risen more than three times faster than wages.

The amount by which train companies can raise regulated fares is the responsibility of the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. He has the power to enforce this but has chosen not to.

Labour's leader, Jeremy Corbyn, criticised the fare rises commenting: “Today’s train fare increases are an insult to everyone who has suffered from the chaos on Britain’s railways.

“The Government’s shambolic mismanagement of our railways has been a national embarrassment and they must now step in to freeze fares charged on the worst performing routes.

“Labour will take back control of our railways by bringing them into public ownership so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.”

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents rail operators defended the fare rises: “Fares are underpinning a once-in-a-generation investment plan to improve the railway and politicians effectively determine that season ticket prices should change in line with other day-to-day costs to help fund this.” said chief executive, Paul Plummer.

Meanwhile, Transport secretary Chris Grayling outraged unions after proposing that fares could be linked with a lower measure of
inflation, if rail unions accept this measure being used to calculate rail increases.

In a letter to the chiefs of the RMT, Aslef, Unite and TSSA unions, Grayling had said: “As you will be aware, one of the industry’s largest costs is pay … it is important that pay agreements also use CPI and not RPI in future when it comes to basing pay deals on inflation.”

In response, Mick Cash, the general secretary of the RMT, slammed the proposal, commenting that “If Chris Grayling seriously thinks that rail staff are going to pay the price for his rank incompetence and the greed of the private train operating companies then he needs to think again.”

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