Sheffield Greens, including prospective parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Central Natalie Bennett, will be campaigning tomorrow (January 3) at Sheffield Station on the annual “Rail Fare Rises” day as commuters return to work.
Fares have risen by 25% in the last 6 years while average earnings have only grown by 12%.
Passengers, who continue to suffer from poor services, unreliability and overcrowding, will see fares on Northern Rail rise by an average of 2.2% East Midlands fares rise by 1.5%, while Virgin East Coast fares rise an eye watering 4.9%, after the successful publicly owned franchise was reprivatised. Some Cross Country fares will rise by 4.8%.
Natalie Bennett, Green candidate for Sheffield Central, said:
“We will be sympathising with travellers who face a miserable new year with even more expensive tickets and continuing poor service.
“We’ll also be promoting the long-term Green Party policy of ending the failed policy of privatising the railways. Bringing them back into public hands could save more than £1 billion a year, and we could have a service run for the interests of passengers not shareholders. This could be done by bringing the contracts back into public hands as contracts lapse, without any outlay of government cash.”
“We have already got nationalised railways – but they are being run in many cases by companies owned by foreign governments, and the profits are going back to those countries.
“East Coast was the most successful and profitable train operator when it was in public hands, but for ideological reasons the Tory Party handed the trains over to the for-profit Virgin Trains. Customers are seeing the impact on their pockets today.”
“The whole model of privatisation of public services has failed, as we’ve seen so clearly and visibly in Sheffield with unnecessary felling of street trees, and are increasingly seeing with our NHS.”