Happy New Year, Happy New Fare Rise
So despite our best hopes for a railway nationalising Labour government, we've got another five years of Tory lies ahead of us and another five years of doing our best holding the privateers and their cronies in government to account.
It would be clear to anyone in government right now that franchising is done and dusted, so expect new initiatives to bring back vertical integration (track and trains owned and operated by the same company), which is likely to mean more under value privatisation, the wholesale transfer of public infrastructure and land into private hands and already the assualt upon workers rights has begun through a plan to force rail workers to run a basic service during strikes. Until the next election, hopes of making public transport more affordable are completely dashed. Labour's pledge to cut rail fares by 33% would have slashed around £1000 off the average commuter's rail ticket and hurt the subsidiesed profits of the private operators immediately. Instead, the Tories are standing by whilst rail fares are set to go up by 2.7%. As explained in our latest campaign flyer, passengers are hit twice by this fare rise: firstly because they already have to subsidise deliberatly mismanged Network Rail, which charges under market rates to private operators to run their trains on our taxes. This undercharging has ramped up astronomical debts to the public purse of over £50 Billion whilst private train companies, train leasing companies and private maintenance contractors continue to siphon obscene profits out of the system. Then the government and Department of Transport have the cheek to state that fare rises are to fund infrastructure improvements, although the fare rises really go firstly into the pockets of the private operators. It's a rigged system and if you use the trains, you're being fleeced. NOR4NOR will be out protesting the fare rise at Norwich Railway station on Thursday 2nd January from 1000 -1200. If you would like to join the protest, would like more information on NOR4NOR and to join our mailing list, or if you would like to lead a fare rise protest at another location, please get in touch. A digital copy of our flyer, along with other NOR4NOR materials can be accessed in our resources section.