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Rail passengers fund fat controllers gold plated pensions

5 January 2011

Rail passengers paying fare rises of up to 13% are funding gold plated pensions for private rail bosses, the TSSA union said today.

The pensions bonanza - which sees First Group’s Sir Muir Lochhead retire on £325,000 a year this Spring - comes as passengers face three more years of inflation plus increases of up to 30% by 2014.

"The rewards for the Fat Controllers at the private rail companies exposes the myth that these huge fare increases are directly linked to future rail investment," said union leader Gerry Doherty.

"Rail privatisation is a gravy train. The private companies take all the profits and the passengers take all the pain."

As well as Sir Muir, Southeastern boss Keith Ludeman, whose firm charges the most for tickets, retires this summer on a pension of £200,000 a year. At Arriva, David Martin, who banked nearly £5 million when the firm was taken over by Deutsche Bahn, will pick up £366,000 a year when he retires.

"These huge rewards are being paid on the back of passengers who are paying the highest fares in Europe," added Mr Doherty.

"These companies are ripping off passengers. They do not own the trains, the track or the stations. They simply lease or rent them from the taxpayer who then pays for all infrastructure investment.

"It is a racket which should be stopped. Everywhere else in Europe, including Germany, France and Italy you have publicly owned and affordable railways.

"In the UK we simply hand the money to private companies who have already ruined our bus services. The only thing they are good at is screwing passengers for every penny they can get."

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