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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/513/3523

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 December 2007

Rail fares unfair

THE PRIVATISED firms in the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) are raising rail fares throughout Britain again - this time by up to 15% from 2 January. ATOC says regulated fares, including season and saver tickets, will increase 4.8% - 0.6% above the RPI measure of inflation.

But the government's policy is to make rail users pay more of the privatised system's costs. Passengers' annual contribution to railway services are to nearly double from 5 billion to 9 billion by 2014. Fare rises on some routes are way above the average increase.

Weekly season tickets from Hayes in suburban south London will cost 28.50 in 2008, instead of the present 24.80. This Southeastern train service is run by Govia, a joint venture company between the Go Ahead group and Keolis.

Go Ahead's profits last year were 97.8 million and it increased its dividend payments by 17% including paying 2.2 million to JP Morgan bank. Keolis is partly owned by Deutsche Bank, whose earnings surged by 70% in 2006.

Govia received a 1.1 billion state subsidy this year after taking over a West Midlands rail franchise. But this multinational pleads poverty and has been allowed to put passengers' fares up by inflation plus 3% on its London to Northampton line and up to 14.5% in Southeastern services.

ATOC blames fare increases on reduced subsidies to some train operators. Yet these franchises are very profitable.

The nine TOCs and rolling stock companies' profits rose from 584 million in 2002 to 894 million in 2006 though they only paid 71 million tax.

"The private franchises are interested only in lining their shareholders' pockets,'' Bob Crow, RMT rail union general secretary, commented. "We need a public railway run in the interests of the public. The time has come to bring the franchises back into the public sector in a single, coherent public body.''

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In The Socialist 6 December 2007:

System change not climate change

Feature: The free market brings fire, flood and famine

For decent public transport!


Workplace news and analysis

DWP strike: Fighting low pay

Socialists and the trade union leaderships


What we think

Labour's funding scandal

How New Labour got hooked

Grayscale


Education

No to academy schools!

Compulsory school to 18 - a rosy future for young people?

Child poverty rises

Rail fares unfair


International socialist news and analysis

Chavez referendum result a big setback

Annapolis - a framework for further conflict

Intelligence on Iran wrong

Disunited Russia

Italy: transport strike

Kosova: After the elections - before the explosion

Northern Ireland classroom assistants

Argos strike in southern Ireland

South African miners strike over safety


Socialist Party review

The socialist review: 'Taking Liberties'


Post Office and CWU

Keep the 'people's Post Office' public

CWU ballot result


Workplace news

Unison's right wing still witch-hunting

Save Cadbury jobs!

Manchester's striking mental health workers: Defending trade union rights


 

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