Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Time to renationalise the railways, let’s do it properly this time
With today’s news of further huge fare hikes for the good commuter of this country getting to work will be set to become more expensive than ever before. I believe now is the right time to renationalise our railways bring them back under democratic workers control this time. Boot the profiteering boss’s out and have workers who know the railways run this. This is the RMT’s policy and I strongly support it. The amount by which rail fares could rise from January is to be revealed, with some commuters set to see rises of more than double the rate of inflation. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation - expected to remain at 2.8% - is used to calculate the rises. Some English fares will rise by RPI plus 3%, while in Scotland they will go up by RPI plus 1%. Wales has yet to set a figure for its increase. The extra money is helping to fund huge investment across the network. There are no fares increases currently planned in Northern Ireland, where fares are not linked to RPI. The figures for planned rises in England and Scotland are an average across regulated tickets, which make up half of all fares. These regulated fares include season tickets and off-peak intercity journeys. Some passengers could see their journey prices rising by more than the average, as train companies are allowed to increase them by more, as long as they cut ticket prices elsewhere. BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott says passengers and taxpayers used to split the cost of running the railways, with both sides paying about half each, but successive ministers have cut the amount of government funding and that has resulted in regular fare rises. The latest rise will mean fares in England will have gone up by more than inflation for 10 successive years, resulting in some of the most expensive train journeys in Europe, our correspondent adds. It is essential working people have a good railway to rely on it would actually be far cheaper to run the railways this way the cost to passengers would be far less too as workers would set the prices at a fair rate as the need to make profit would be gone. Instead focusing on a good reliable service that meets the needs of the passengers and the country and economy as a whole. There is a great need for socialist economic planning of the economy nationalising the railways could be the first step to taking the commanding heights of the economy into public ownership running for people’s needs not the profits of the boss’s.