Privatisation pushes up transport costs in Yorkshire

7% and 8%. That’s how much bus and train fares went up in West Yorkshire this January, following above inflation increases of 6% at the beginning of 2011 on trains and increases of up to 20% on buses in August 2010.

Fares for buses aren’t regulated and instead are set by the various private operators across West Yorkshire. In October last year both Arriva and First had announced no plans to increase fares – a promise they’ve subsequently broken.

To achieve its aims in terms of controlling the soaring cost of fares and ensuring a more reliable integrated transport system, Metro (West Yorkshire public transport) will come into head-on collision with the interests of the private operating companies and more specifically, their profit margins.

Comments from Metro’s consultation showed clear opposition to private sector profit-mongering in public transport, with comments such as: “Buses should be run as services, not businesses. The free-markets do not belong in public service.”

Socialist Party members have received huge support while campaigning on these issues, with hundreds of people telling us how both bus and rail transport should be brought back into public ownership. We have collected thousands of signatures on a petition to this effect that we will be handing in to an upcoming meeting of the Integrated Transport Authority.

Andy Smith

A petition will be handed in during a lobby of the Metro executive board on Friday 15th June, 11am, at the Metro offices on Wellington Street, Leeds