Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/467/1905
Protesting against fare increases
SOUTH YORKSHIRE First have announced more bus fare increases from 6 January. The Day Saver (joke!) ticket will go up from £3.50 to £4, a massive 14% increase!
Bus campaigners, We Want Our Buses Back (WWOBB), who organised a 300-strong demonstration last November against First's last fares rise, are encouraging bus users to protest again on 6 January.
After four rounds of fare rises in 2003-04, public outrage and protests forced First to promise no more fare increases for 12 months. But now they have cynically made this announcement around Christmas time to divert people's anger.
WWOBB convenor Calvin Payne says: "These fare rises prove that First bosses haven't changed one bit - they still put profits First!
"FirstGroup made record profits in the last year. FirstBus UK made approximately £110 million profit. Dividends to shareholders were increased by 10% and £23 million was returned to the fat-cats! Yet the bus drivers have had their pensions cut. Then the company has the cheek to blame drivers' wage rises for the fares increase!
"This announcement comes literally days after Sheffield residents received the council's glossy brochure 'Transport in Sheffield - it affects you!' Too right it does. This latest fare rise proves that Sheffield Council has no control over the private bus companies, so how can it plan public transport?
"Why is the Labour council that passed a motion of no confidence in First still trying to get 'partnership' deals?
"WWOBB is organising a demonstration against this latest fare rise and stepping up its campaign for buses to be returned to public ownership and control. The council must decide whose side it is on - the passengers or the profiteers?"
In The Socialist 15 December 2006:
War and terrorism
Violence against women
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
The Socialist Xmas quiz