Labour calls for renationalisation after ‘staggering’ rail fare rises

A Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston will cost more than £10,000 for the first time [Image: Matt Dunham/AP].

When rail transport was privatised, we were told it would become cheaper and more cost-effective. That has not happened.

Instead, subsidies to private rail companies from the public purse have mushroomed – in 2012 we were paying four times more on subsidies for private rail companies than we ever did on British Rail. Can anybody tell us how high that subsidy has risen in the nearly four years since then?

Public demand is for renationalisation. Under Ed Miliband, Labour seemed to squirm at the prospect of giving people what they want and instead proposed a public-sector service that would compete for franchises with the private firms.

Perhaps it is this reticence that lost Labour the election last May?

Thankfully we now have a Labour leader in Jeremy Corbyn – and a Labour Party – who has realised that this was a mistake and is calling for for full renationalisation, in line with the wishes of the public.

It seems Labour is the only party willing to respond to public demands appropriately.

Commuters will be paying an average of 25% more for rail season tickets since David Cameron took office, Labour has calculated.

Fares are set to rise by an average of 1.1% on Saturday and the shadow transport secretary, Lilian Greenwood, said that would mean passengers being hit by a “truly staggering” rise of up to £2,000 in cash terms since 2010.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, used the latest annual increase to repeat his call for the nationalisation of train services, claiming it was a scandal that commuters’ money was being used to boost the profits of private firms and foreign state-owned operators.

The analysis compared costs on more than 200 routes between 2010, when the coalition came to power, and when the new prices come into effect on Saturday.

Source: Labour calls for renationalisation after ‘staggering’ rail fare rises | Money | The Guardian

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21 thoughts on “Labour calls for renationalisation after ‘staggering’ rail fare rises

  1. Jeffery Davies

    While our mps can have vast amounts of pay raises the poor cant yet awarding vast contracts to private companies gets the tax pot poorer untill the workers start to dictate that private wasnt the way and government running bizness was the way then perhaps we see the money going around instead off going offshore account’s jeff3

  2. Jean Hardiman Smith

    They have also effectively cancelled their older people/disabled etc cards – you can only travel at totally inconvenient times now. This has put my fare up from £54.00 to £180.00 return to London, and is out of my reach as a disabled person – and out of the reach of most genuine charities to pay too. Still Branson gets to pose in a spaceman suit in TV ads, and pretend to be a cuddly and responsible entrepreneur, so I guess that’s OK!!!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      So this could tie in with the article on senior citizens voting Tory, then – they’re supporting a government that, by allowing privatised rail to continue, is penalising older travellers?

  3. Dez

    They have had a very long time to prove their case that privitisation is best….but for whom? Certainly not for joe public who has become the cash cow for the Cons mates playing at being high paid Fat Controllers. Yes British Rail always needed a good kick and much investment to bring it up to speed but at least it was joined up albeit in need of greater efficiency and less disrupting strikes. Seems even the rail companies are not falling over backwards for a slice of the so called action and even the Government procurement offices have not got a clue how to properly procure a good deal from these cowboys. Branson recently rightly throwing his toys out of his pram after losing his franchise to lazy incompetent Government procurement practices. After getting this back where it belongs next the Water Companies please.

  4. Christine Bergin

    Lets face it, ALL the various privatisations have become extortion rackets.Sold on the promise that it would all get cheaper = and us suckers believed it! What wasit Goering said about the big lies. It doesnt change.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Goebbels, I think.
      Hitler used it first, in Mein Kampf. But Goebbels said it was an English idea.

  5. David

    Our dysfuntional rail system is the legacy of a badly botched privatisation by John Major. The ECML company recently privatised made a good profit, ran a good service and paid its taxes. What’s not to like about a nationalised system?

  6. Thomas

    When they privatised the railways they gave each company it’s own tracks so there was no competition,which is why it’s such a mess.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No they didn’t! The track network was run by a completely different company – Railtrack – until 2002, when most of that firm became the state-owned non-profit company Network Rail.

  7. Terry Davies

    take the shareholders to task and get them to sign theyll return the public subsidies.
    If they cant repay the taxpayer they lose value of their shares. This to be done for all privatised services which received public monies.
    ensure that all privatised services are cost effective without tax payer subsidies. this includes financial services like banks etc.
    Consultancies of MPs should be paid to the public purse until 2 years have elapsed of their ceasing to serve their constituents.

  8. Ian Jd Andrews

    the article and the comments so far all miss the biggest con of all, the majority of all the passenger franchises and 3 out of 5 of the railfreight companies are owned by the state owned rail companies of Germany and France through subsiduries, so you hard earned cash is going to subsidise and provide lower fares on the railways of France and Germany ..good that aint it

  9. Terry Tinsel

    Privatisation is and always has been nothing short of theft, pure and simple. The public pays for assets through taxation and those same assets are then handed over into private hands so that the public can continue to pay for those assets in perpetuity. What we refer to as government is little more than an administrative layer of a collection of competing mafias. Our taxes go towards the strengthening of this criminal web of corruption. Nothing is done for the benefit of the population. Our children are “educated” to accept their inevitable fate as economic units in the “world of work”. Judged and measured by their capacity assist economic growth. We are literally slaves.

    1. Mike M

      I am so amazed that a Robin Hood type group hasn’t carried out attacks against the elite. If hatred of the system increases, God help them, because some nutters will try and eliminate the elite. There’s only so much some people will take before there is vicious class war – to stop this, we need to rebalance the economy and take power back in a true, representative and fair social democracy.

  10. David

    Well, we all want to see the railways re-nationalised, at least 70% of us, anyway. So that’s another good reason for the tories keeping on using our money to subsidise private industry. There you have it: socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor.

Comments are closed.