Protests at rail fare hikes

4 January 2016

traintrack A study has shown that British train users are spending up to six times as much of their wages on railway fares, as those who use trains elsewhere in Europe. Action for Rail say that some commuters in the UK are parting with 13% of their salary on trains, while Italians are paying just 2%.

This study was put out to coincide with the protests that are taking place at a number of railway stations across the UK, where campaigners and rail workers are unhappy with the increase to fares.

The report says that it weighed-up the average salary of a worker in the UK, and found that they were spending much more of their pay packet (the aforementioned 13%) compared to 2% in Italy, 3% in Spain and 4% in Germany.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "It's hardly surprising that UK passengers think rail travel is bad value for money. They are shelling out far more of their income on rail fares than their counterparts in Europe. Years of failed privatisation have left us with exorbitant ticket prices, overcrowded trains and ageing infrastructure. Ministers need to wake up to this reality instead of allowing train companies to milk the system at taxpayers' and commuters' expense."

Meanwhile, Mick Whelan - the general secretary of train diver union Aslef - said: "Taking the railways back into public hands is a popular policy. The vast majority of voters - Conservative included - are fed up with paying sky-high fares so the privatised train companies can take their slice. Commuters travelling into London from Kent and Sussex know their £5,000 a year season tickets would be much cheaper under public ownership."

TOPICS:   Travel   Banking


  • squiffy
    Can't help feeling that like many utility companies, they are taking too much profit and investing too little.
  • shiftynifity
    lol, when you think we the british public owned all these companies, and the wicked witch and her mob flogged them off and the taxpayer never really saw any improvement only to be squeezed like lemons...well something is not right !! lol ,competition, cheaper prices, what a load of pony , never was going to happen
  • Truedat
    Would be interesting to see how many days were lost due to strike action when it was state owned BR and how may have been lost since privatization. I would imagine the number has fallen since commercial reality took over rather than the bottomless pit of government spending was used to pay the wages.
  • Fagin
    Truedat, the world was a different place back then! we pay taxes to pay for the railways to be kept ticking over whilst investment is claimed t be massive it isn't , profits to the companies yes, but we are paying more & more to subsidise a bunch of private companies (like national express) who cock it up & then force you onto their coaches because it's a cheaper more profitable option to them. (for instance). Unless I visit the north i've been in the same stock of carriages from 25-30 years ago, & when on the south coast have been on carriages that were 1960's or older for busy, expensive commercial routes. Having commuted to "that London" for a good while it was a piss poor miserable experience at each end of the day, late trains, cancelled trains, day in day out, month in month out, at kings cross the "customer service" pesonnel who get chewed out would only last a handful of months. & getting money back from them was a bitch, they could & would stop a train outside a station for 90 minutes, change the "service" pull into the station & as it was technically now a different train deny all liability of delay or monies owed. Expensive farce which continues to this day. Some lines / services which private companies walked away from were then profitable under their own steam, ...then were forced to be sold on again when they were offering & proving more consistent value & times than before.
  • Truth
    Official figures show that all but one of the private train operators in the UK receive more in subsidies than they return in the form of franchise payments to the government. In 2013–14, the government contributed £3.8bn to the UK rail industry. - See more at: In other words we pay more now into the railways than when we owned it and get less...

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