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Tory rail sell-off has trebled fares

28 January 2015

First Great Western has hiked fares by 246%

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Rail fares have more than trebled on the busiest routes since the railways were sold off by the Tories twenty years ago, the TSSA revealed today.

Independent research carried out for the union showed the biggest hike has been on First Great Western where a peak walk on return fare from London to Bristol has increased by 246% since January 1995.

Fares expert Barry Doe found that second in the top ten increases was Virgin which showed a 243% increase on the return fare from London to Manchester.

The cost to passengers since rail was privatised shows increases of between 141% and 246% on the ten most popular routes. But overall price rises, as shown by the RPI , increased by just 77% over the same period.

"Passengers have paid a terrible price for this political folly, " said union general secretary Manuel Cortes. "The private rail industry has taken all the gain while passengers have suffered all the pain.

"When the Tories sold off the railways, they gave the likes of tax exiles such as Sir Richard Branson, a licence to print money at the passengers expense.

"Passengers have paid a small fortune on fares while rail bosses like Martin Griffiths (Stagecoach) and Tim O'Toole (First Group) are paid a fortune."*

The union is now asking Labour to give passengers a break by introducing a one year fares freeze from next January if it wins May's General Election.

"We want to end this annual persecution of passengers which started after privatisation," he added. "We now want Ed Miliband to treat rail passengers fairly, not just as another source of tax revenue."

Top Ten Fare Rises Between January 2 1995 and January 2 2015

Anytime Return Fares from London

  1995 2015 % Increase
Bristol £57 £197 246 %
Manchester £96 £329 243 %
Liverpool £93 £309 232 %
Cardiff £70 £218 216 %
Birmingham £55 £168 211 %
Glasgow £130 £361 178 %
Nottingham £59 £160.50p 172 %
Leeds £96 £249 159 %
Newcastle £112 £308 148 %
Edinburgh £130 £313 141 %

*Last year Martin Griffiths earned £2.2 million. Tim O Toole was paid £1.99 million.

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