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Britain’s rip-off railways

bringbackbrIn the last decade rail fares have gone up by a staggering 54 per cent according to a Which? survey.

Less than half of passengers of all train operators felt their service provided value for money while just 34 per cent of commuters were satisfied, the consumer watchdog’s findings showed.

Which? tracked customers’ satisfaction with value for money of rail services between spring 2006 and autumn 2015 using the National Rail Passenger Survey.

The increase in ticket prices is more than double the rate of consumer price index inflation.

Which? concluded that the figures showed “little meaningful improvement” in the country’s rail network.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said the investigation “into Britain’s rip-off railways should be the final nail in the coffin of this failed experiment with privatisation.”

He pointed out that over the same 10-year period private rail operators “have made billions in profits while overwhelmingly investment continues to come from the public purse.”

He also argued that other European countries have proved rail services are faster and cheaper when they are publicly run.

Drivers’ union Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan declared that private rail operators were “not in the business of providing a public service,” but making as much cash as possible.

He highlighted how rail privatisation had failed “on every measure” since the Tories privatised Britain’s railways 20 years ago.

“Fares, and public subsidies, have soared — we now have the highest fares in Europe — while trains have got more crowded,” Mr Whelan said.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The reality on Britain’s privatised railways is profiteering, overcrowding, unreliable services and rip-off fares.

“As another working week kicks off, RMT will be working with the travelling public to stop the cuts and fight for public ownership.”

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said that the government had put an end to inflation-busting fare rises by capping regulated rail fares in line with inflation until 2020.

Figures released by ministers last summer found that between 1980 and 2014 the cost of motoring fell by 14 per cent, while rail ticket prices had increased 63 per cent.

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