Train fares go up at triple the rate of your wages
We all know that our train services are run badly and are expensive, so the news that rail fares have shot up three times faster than our wages have over the past five years, should come as no surprise.
New analysis shows that regulated fare prices went up by 25% between 2010 and 2015, while the average take home pay only went up by 9% in that same time. This is according to the TUC who have been crunching some numbers.
Rail minister Claire Perry says that the government has plans that would see an end to "inflation-busting fare increases", and the powers that be have already said that regulated train fares (in England only) will rise by no more than inflation. Perry added: "Next year's fares will see some of the lowest increases for decades."
Hands up if you'll only believe that when you see it.
The unions aren't having it, and they think that returning the railways to the public sector would see a reduction in train ticket prices. TUC secretary Frances O'Grady said too many people commuting on trains are "seriously out of pocket" thanks to price hikes: "If ministers really want to help hard-pressed commuters they need to return services to the public sector. It would allow much bigger savings to be passed onto passengers".
Just how much do they think will be saved? Well, the TUC and rail union campaign 'Action For Rail' thinks that putting the trains into public ownership would see £1.5bn saved over the next five years. A lot of the money would be saved after being recouped from the money private train firms pay in dividends to shareholders.
The transport charity Campaign for Better Transport have conducted a separate report and found that, again unsurprisingly, the UK if way behind the rest of Europe when it comes to flexible train tickets.
At the moment, season ticket holders in Britain only actually save money if they use their tickets for five out of seven days. People with part-time jobs are getting done over.
"The UK government and train operators are dragging their feet, meaning many part-time workers are being priced off the railway," said campaigner Martin Abrams.