Posts Tagged ‘rail fares’

Rail fare increases

January 6, 2015
rail fare protest

rail fare protest

For over a decade, we have seen the New Year start with rail fare increases, usually double the rate of inflation increases, justified by a claimed improvement in service.

This year saw a 2.5% increase. Over the last five years, rail fares have increased by more than 20%, wages have stagnated or fallen.

Improvements in service? Rail passengers would beg to differ.

Ascot-Aldershot-Guildford line, clapped-out, third-world cattle trucks fit for a scrapyard, filthy, no toilets, passengers put at risk as unable to walk through the train to escape from drunken thugs.

Waterloo-Aldershot-Farnham-Alton line, the train is timed to arrive at Alton, or at least the bus to Winchester timed to leave, at the same time as the train is timed to arrive. Disembarking passengers leave the station to see the bus they wish to catch departing, half an hour wait for the next bus.

1200 Farnborough fast train to Waterloo. Four coaches, overcrowded, standing room only.

Reading to Gatwick and Reading to Redhill line. Toilets are filthy or no water or out of use.

East Coast Mainline is still in public ownership, just. It performs well, but the ConDem government has decided to hand to Richard Branson and Stagecoach But even with the East Coast Mainline there are problems. Get on a train at Kings Cross, before the train departs, a litany is announced of rail passengers who cannot be on the train because they have tickets for a different rail company or on the wrong train. They are requested to leave the train or face penalty fares. Free wifi, all of fifteen minutes.

In the five years the East Coast Mainline has been in the public sector, it has returned almost £1 billion to the taxpayer.

Rail works are the bane of every weekend traveller. Journeys become a nightmare.

Christmas we had the debacle of rail works at Kings Cross. Scheduled to last a day they overran into a second day. Passengers were instructed to go to Finsbury Park. Finsbury Park could not cope, was closed for safety reasons, with passengers queuing for hours outside in the freezing cold. The works should not have overrun (not the first time it had happened) and when it did, there should have been contingency plans in place, local trains terminated at Finsbury Park, main line trains at Peterborough with replacement coach service into London.

This year, they did not not try it on claiming services had improved. Instead, an admission that passengers are being ripped off by ticket machines. Are they going to fix the problem? Er, no, but they will put a sticker on the ticket machines warning passenger they are being ripped off, and advise go to the ticket office. And why do passengers use the tickets machines? It is not as BBC reported convenience. It is because of the long queues at ticket offices.

Monday saw protest at the hike in rail fares and a call for the railways to be nationalised.

If we are serious about tackling climate change restricting temperature rises to below 2C, then we have to have a clean, efficient, reliable, cheap rail service, part of an integrated transport system, train, light rail, Underground and bus.

A privatised rail service, where profit is what matters, has shown it is unable to deliver.

Stop the rail fares rip-off!

January 2, 2013
farefail at Kings Cross

farefail at Kings Cross

It has now become an annual event. First working day of the New Year and rail passengers are subjected to a hike in rail fares far exceeding inflation.

We are told it is to pay for an improvement in rail services, and yet for those using the trains, far from seeing an improvement see long term decline and deteriorating services.

There used to be trains around 1300 and 1400 from Kings Cross, change at Newark, connecting train waiting and on to Lincoln.

Now one train at 1330, 45 minutes wait at Newark for a train to Lincoln.

December 2012, the idiots manning the barrier at Newark claimed it had always been thus and the service had improved! They made the same ridiculous claim December 2012.

This morning Climate Rush and others mounted a demonstration at Kings Cross against rail fare misery.

2013 is the tenth successive year rail fares have risen well above inflation.

Paid your new rail fare this morning?

January 3, 2012
#farefail banner drop at St Pancras

#farefail banner drop at St Pancras

#farefail banner at St Pancras station

#farefail banner at St Pancras station

fat controller jazz band playing their first notes and banner is up at St Pancras!

fat controller jazz band playing their first notes and banner is up at St Pancras!

shadow transport sec Maria Eagle at protest this morning

shadow transport sec Maria Eagle at protest this morning

pissed off rail commuter

pissed off rail commuter

The day we decide to act it is our lucky day. — Paulo Coelho

I work part time – if I didnt cycle, my commuting costs would mean I couldnt afford to live in London! — Kat Ann

Just paid your new rail fare this morning, bought a new season ticket just to get to work? You will need a day off to recover from the shock.

Yesterday new rail fares came into force. An average rise of 5.9%. Some seeing in excess of 10% increase. Passengers travelling from Devon and Cornwall to the Midlands, the North and Scotland will have seen their rail fares double.

Do not sit back and moan, do something about it!

Tweet @hmtreasury with the hashtags #farefail #railfail and give your old and new fare. You may also wish to text to 88802 with ref FAREFAIL, or call the Treasury 020 7270 5000 and give your views on the unfair hike in frail fares.

Sign up to the #fairfail campaign for fairer fares.

British rail passengers are paying the highest fares in Europe for an appalling service.

Not one penny from these fare hikes is budgeted to improve the railways or encourage more people to choose the train. Instead it’s a tax on rail-users.

Were HMRC to recover unpaid taxes from corporate tax dodgers, billions of pounds are owing in unpaid taxes, there would be more than sufficient money for railways, decent health care, education, museums and libraries.

This morning the Fat Controller and his Jazz Band entertained and engaged with passengers at St Pancras International.

On Thursday 5th January Climate Rush will welcome brave commuters into Charing Cross Station. These commuters will risk arrest – showing their anger at rail fare increases – by refusing to show their train tickets on their morning commute. From 8.30am at Charing Cross Station Climate Rush will welcome these daring commuter/activists into London – offering them the silver service that their extortionate ticket price should include. Pull on your first sash of 2012 and demand fair fares for all.

And less we forget, it is not only rail fares. Hikes in bus fares are far outstripping inflation. Once again it is the privateers who are benefiting, not the hard-pressed travelling public. Often the same privateers who are ripping us off on the trains. In many parts of the country bus fares have gone up by 20%!

Top story The Digital Mission Daily (Wednesday 4 January 2012).

Farce of rail price hikes
Letter from Campaign for Better Transport, Climate Rush and supporters
Voices from the Occupation – The Great British Train Robbery
Bus fare rises outstrip inflation
Who cares about the railways?

Fares fair rail fares protest

August 16, 2011
this is our railway - we might use it if we could afford it

this is our railway - we might use it if we could afford it

Waterloo Station protest

Waterloo Station protest

Today we learnt of the massive hike in rail fares that will take place in January – Retail Price Index of 5% plus 3%.

Welfare payments and penions are based on the much lower Consumer Price Index, but not rail fares.

Year on year, every January we have a hike in rail fares. Each year the excuse is the same, it is to pay for an improvement in rail service.

I do not know about anyone else, but I have yet to see an improvement in rail service.

Try travelling at weekend. You pay for a train and get a clapped out bus.

Weekend rail works

Today at Waterloo Station as commuters arrived crammed in like rats, Climate Rush, Fair Fares Now and others mounted a protest against the hike in rail fares.

Rail fare rises of 13% ‘may break government’, campaigners warn

Weekend rail works

July 11, 2011
clapped-out bus

clapped-out bus

It is a pleasant rail trip to Alton. Or at least it is if there are trains. Such are the perils of rail works.

I was on my way to Alton for the Alton Food Festival, an annual event. I arrived at the station to find no trains. Outside the station a clapped-out double-decker bus, maybe suitable for stops around town, but no way suitable for a cross-country trip.

The journey was needless to say horrendous, rattle, rattle, rattle. I arrived in Alton shattered.

The journey back was no better. There was supposed to be buses every half hour. There was a coach parked up, but the driver said no, he was for the next half hour slot.

At least it was a coach, but it was little better than the bus. Halfway we were told to get off and catch another coach.

We pay some of the highest railfares in Europe. If you pay for a train, you expect a train, or at the very least a comfortable coach. And a refund or a reduction in the fare paid.

But at least the delay travelling back from Alton meant I saw a steam train at Alton.