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Rail ticket lottery will produce millions of losers warns TSSA

8 March 2012

Plans to sell rail tickets like lottery tickets in corner shops will produce rocketing fares and millions of losers, said the TSSA today.

Among the losers, after the passengers, will be booking office staff who will see hundreds of ticket offices shut across the country, warned union general secretary Manuel Cortes.

"By turning rail ticket sales into a lottery, this profit obssessed Government will produce millions of losers every day, just like the real lottery.

"Private rail companies will be able to inflict inflation busting fares rises every year on passengers who will have no proper advice about what ticket to buy at their local shop, library or post office.

"This will be a rip off charter for the private operators at the expense of passengers who are already paying the highest fares in Europe.

"We saw fares jump 6% just ten weeks ago and they will jump by another 14% over the next two years under the Coalition's plans to increases fares by RPI plus 3% in 2013 and 2014."

He warned that over 700 smaller ticket offices could also now close with the Goverment giving the train operating companies the green light to close offices which open for fewer than 12 hours a day in today's Rail Command Paper.

"This is a missed opportunity by Ministers who are putting the interests of the private train companies ahead of millions of passengers.

"By green lighting higher super peak fares, they are in danger of turning the railways into a rich man's toy, to use Philip Hammond's very own graphic phrase.

"Rail bosses like Sir Richard Branson and Sir Brian Souter do not need further help from Ministers to make even more millions- it is the passenger who needs protection from these modern day highwaymen."

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