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TSSA says Virgin should learn their lesson on peak fares

28 August 2018

Rail leader calls for fares to be levelled after Virgin admit abolition of peak fares drive up numbers whilst reducing overcrowding on West Coast Mainline.

Responding to Virgin’s admission that it’s “flexible Friday” abolition of peak fares from Euston has reduced the overcrowding of its trains, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes calls for every day to be a flexible day.

Said Cortes: “Passengers have been able to get away cheaper and travel when they want on a Friday because of Virgin’s summer deal. And the economies of the cities along the West coast mainline have all benefited a bit from people being able to enjoy Britain because Branson has made travelling on Fridays more affordable. 

“I’m especially interested in the paragraph in Virgin’s press release announcing the extension of flexible Fridays until the end of October which says: ‘Despite driving up numbers travelling, the promotion has also led to a reduction in overcrowding by spreading passenger demand more evenly throughout the day.’ 

“At last we have an admission from the horse’s mouth that the serious overcrowding in off-peak times on the busiest rail line in Europe is made far worse by the ridiculous rip off peak fares scheme. 

“Our members have known this for years. Passengers know it and are sick to the back teeth of being herded like cattle into trucks at peak times and paying through the nose for it. 

“Good on Virgin for showing what a difference a fairer fare system could achieve.  Passengers and indeed our economy, need this to be more than just a Friday PR stunt. The government must now have the bottle to scrap the Byzantine fare structure which privatisation has imposed on passengers across our rail network. It should not be left at the whim of Branson ot any other privateer, whether traveling public should be able to enjoy a fair fare structure. Frankly, the sure way to end Brirain's great train robbery is by bringing our railways back into public ownership."

Cortes is now seeking a meeting with Branson to explore further ways of working to improve West Coast services for staff and passengers. 

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