I often get called a cunt. This is because I am something of a cunt. We seem to be fairly accurate when describing people. Why then do we mince our words in politics? Do you? I call them as I see them. Just as Royal Mail should no longer be entitled to use the word ‘Royal’ nor carry the official insignia, why on earth do we tolerate the false idea of a ‘National Rail.’ Let it be called ‘Foreign International Rail’ and be done with it. Our trains are owned by rootless international corporations and Foreign States. And you wonder why there is no local accountability to service users, never mind value or efficiency? Just the great laissez-faire ‘free’ market at work there. And don’t even get me started on ‘free’ schools. Shall we call things by their proper names, for once?
James Bloodworth for Left Foot Forward: “Some rail fares in Britain have risen by as much as 250 per cent since British Rail was privatised twenty years ago, according to research by the TSSA transport union.
The biggest price hike was on Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin line, where a walk-on return fare from London to Manchester has increased by 245 per cent since April 1, 1994. A 250 per cent price increase was also found on a First Great Western return fare from London to Bristol.
The research on fair increases since privatisation 20 years ago found rises of between 141 and 245 per cent despite the fact that overall price rises, as shown by the RPI , increased by 78 per cent over the same period.
“This proves what every passenger knows in their bones”, said TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes. “The private rail industry has been ripping us all off for the past 20 years.”
“Fares on the most popular routes have more than trebled, rising three times faster than the rate of inflation. When the Tories sold off the railways, they gave the likes of tax exiles like Sir Richard, a licence to print money. He and his fellow privateers have been exploiting that licence ever since,” he added.
TSSA is asking a future Labour government to introduce a one year fares freeze if it wins next year’s General Election.
Top Ten Fare Rises Between April 1 1994 and April 1 2014
Anytime Return Fares from London