Britain’s trains are an EU rip-off, say Greens

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The Green Party has called on the railways to be brought back into public hands as rail fare rises for 2014 come into effect.

Recent rises in fares means season ticket holders are paying an average of 3.1% more, meaning fares are rising three times faster than wages.

Andrew Cooper, Yorkshire and the Humber Green Party, said: “Polls shows the public understands that privatisation has failed the railways. Government must now acknowledge the huge costs of privatisation. The Rebuilding Rail report has put these conservatively at £1.2 bn a year – or an 18% fare cut for everyone.

“The UK already has the most expensive rail fares in Europe,” continued Mr Cooper, a councillor in Kirklees. “UK commuters are spending over three times more of their salary on travel than users of publicly-owned trains in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

The TUC, the UK’s top union body, has revealed today that such a high percentage of salary going on fares dwarfs those seen in Germany and France (4%), Spain (3%), and Italy (1%).

“Your average earner in the region could now spend 12.5% of their monthly salary on a monthly season ticket for the relatively short journey between York and Leeds.

“We should bring the railways back into public hands, and end two decades of ‘great train robbery’ by the train operating companies,” said Andrew Cooper.

In Parliament, the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas is leading on this garnering support from MPs to sign a parliamentary motion calling for the re-nationalisation of UK railways.

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