Socialist Party
| Print

3 January 2018

Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

Nationalise rail now!

Paul Callanan, Greenwich and Bexley Socialist Party

Rail companies are ringing in the new year by inflicting yet more misery on long-suffering commuters. Fares have gone up another 3.4%. With wages only up by 2.5% this means travel continues to get more costly for workers.

Commuters in Britain now pay up to five times as much of our wages in fares as our fellow workers in other parts of Europe, according the TUC. Since the Tories came to power in 2010 season ticket prices have jumped 32%, Labour has found.

The government and rail bosses claim the increases are to cover the costs of huge rail infrastructure and improvement projects, as well as operating costs.

So, money well spent? No. 48% of all trains were late or cancelled in the five weeks up to Christmas, the Sunday Times found.

Bosses are also attempting to cut costs by removing safety-critical duties from train guards in favour of 'driver-only operation'. As well as trains being late and overcrowded, passengers are asked to pay for a service that is unsafe and inaccessible.

Seen in this light anyone would say that the government's transport policies have been an abject failure. Anyone except the fat cats who run Britain's railways.

Like Rupert Soames, chief executive of Serco, which runs the Caledonian Sleeper and part-runs Merseyrail. Soames stands to get a staggering 5.4 million if he meets performance targets.

Or Martin Griffiths, boss of Stagecoach, operator of East Midlands and partner of Virgin's East Coast and West Coast lines. He is due a huge pay-out of 2.5 million.

The bosses claim that 97% of fares are reinvested - that just 3% is profit.

Of course, parts of that 'reinvestment' go on leasing trains from private companies and paying interest on debts - making profits for other bosses. And the chief execs' massive handouts count as staffing costs.

But even if the majority of the money goes on maintenance and improvement, why should passengers and railway workers have to foot the bill for decades of underinvestment?

The railways should be nationalised, in full and immediately, with compensation paid to shareholders only on the basis of proven need. Only by taking rail out of the hands of greedy bosses can we end the great British train robbery.

On the basis of public ownership and democratic planning, state subsidies could guarantee cheap fares, good wages and decent service - not prop up 3% profit margins and executive excess for companies competing to run rail into the ground.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26641




Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

triangle14 Aug Victory: NHS workers say no to privatisation

triangle8 Aug The fight against Labour's Blairites and TUSC's role now

triangle8 Aug Break the pay cap - the fight continues!

triangle8 Aug Antisemitism slanders against Corbyn

triangle7 Aug Turn the heat on the bosses not the bus drivers!

triangle7 Aug No to Tory plans for radioactive waste under national parks

triangle7 Aug Birmingham home carers strike

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle9 Sep Manchester: NSSN pre-TUC rally


triangle14 Aug Liverpool Socialist Party: Turkey's one-man state after recent election

triangle14 Aug Bristol North Socialist Party: USA - Trump and the way ahead

triangle15 Aug Salford Socialist Party: Israel/Palestine - mass struggle and BDS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999