Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas fights latest rail fare rises
PUBLISHED: 10:56 17 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:56 17 February 2015
Caroline Lucas MP joined rail passengers at Brighton train station last month to call for Britain’s railways to be returned to public hands. The rally – one of dozens nationwide – followed the rail fare hike that was announced at the beginning of January.
Caroline’s own Bill, which has gained strong public and political backing, calls for Britain’s rail franchises to be brought back into public ownership as they either fail or their contracts expire.
The Rebuilding Rail report, (published by Transport for Quality of Life), estimates that around £1.2bn is lost each year as a result of fragmentation and privatisation. “This is money which could, and should, be reinvested to improve our services and reduce fares,” says Caroline. She criticised the “blatant transfer of public money to private shareholders,” adding that “the Public Purse is propping up a failing rail system for private gain. UK railways would be £1 billion better off in public hands.”
She went on to say that “it’s ripping off passengers, harming the economy and failing the environment. The UK has some of the highest fares in Europe and they continue to rocket – vastly out of line with wage rises.”
Garry Hassell, Brighton and Hove City RMT branch Secretary, said of Caroline’s proposal: “The return of the railway transport system back into public hands is the only sensible option for commuters, travellers, manufacturers and workers alike. Caroline Lucas and The Green Party are the political party advocating that the loudest on these islands – we welcome that and support unanimously that clear, precise and sensible policy.”
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