As many people prepared for their first day back to work after the Christmas break, Labour Parliamentary Candidates, Rachel Burgin (Hitchin & Harpenden) and Chris York (North East Hertfordshire) joined the Action for Rail protest outside Kings Cross mainline station on Friday 2nd January against the rising costs of rail travel and privatisation.
The protests were organised by the TUC’s Action for Rail campaign.
Campaigners handed out special tickets highlighting how rail fares have risen faster than inflation and how the UK has the most expensive fares in Europe.
Rachel Burgin said “The Tories claim to be the party of “grafters” and hardworking families but their policies on rail fares exposes this as a lie. The people on the 7:01am from Hitchin or the 7:12am from Harpenden have been hit year on year by escalating rail fares under this government. Even people on relatively decent salaries are feeling the squeeze from what are now the highest rail fares in Europe and those on lower incomes are – quite literally – being priced out of the job market.
“A future Labour government would reform the railways, simplify the ticketing system and enforce a strict cap on fares on every route.
They would also give passengers a say in how the railways are run and stop passengers getting fleeced at ticket machines by making it a legal right for passengers to be sold the cheapest available ticket for their journey.”
Chris York said: “We need fairer fares on our railways, with the majority of families £1,600 a year worse off. Getting on for 20% of people’s salaries is going on commuting to work.
“This is particularly difficult for those on zero hours contracts and the minimum wage who are already being forced further into poverty. Less money should be going into the back pockets of shareholders and more of those vast profits ploughed back into improving infrastructure.”
At 8am RMT General Secretary Mick Cash joined ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan and TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes to hand out the tickets to commuters arriving at London Kings Cross.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Action for Rail is a campaign involving the TUC, and its affiliated unions with members working on the railways – ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite. Its aim is to work with passenger groups, rail campaigners and environmentalists to campaign against cuts to rail services and staffing and to promote the case for integrated, national rail under public ownership. For more information please visit www.actionforrail.org