These rail fare rises are a step too far. Why don’t commuters rise up?| Polly Toynbee
The unmitigated failure of privatised railways is plain for all to see and passengers are the victims
Railways signal the state of a nation. Fast, clean, cheap, punctual trains make a country look well run: Mussolini and Hitler knew the potency of “making the trains run on time”. Any prime minister who puts Chris Grayling in charge, an ideological obsessive who destroys all he touches, is tone deaf to the national pulse.
This week’s train fare rise announcement was political folly on a grand scale, after June’s train timetable fiasco left tens of thousands of trains cancelled. Fares have risen at twice the pace of wages, up 42%, pay up just 18% since 2008, with driver shortages, short trains and customers short-changed by the some of the most expensive fares in the world. A Peterborough to Kings Cross season ticket costs £6,540 a year while in Germany a BahnCard 100 buys a year’s travel anywhere for £3,840. Meanwhile, fuel tax has been frozen for seven years.
Source: Guardian Transport