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Transport policy

As a union organised in the transport industries in the UK and the Republic of Ireland TSSA takes a very keen interest in all aspects of transport. TSSA campaigns for a good quality, affordable public transport that is accountable and run in the public interest.

Our policy as determined by TSSA Annual Delegate Conference is highly critical of the fundamental structure of the passenger rail industry remains seriously flawed with the train operators putting their private interests ahead of those of the public. TSSA’s concerns include:

  • Rail fares in the UK are the most expensive in Europe;
  • Passengers are expected to pay even higher fares to fund investment in the rail network;
  • Train operators are willing and able to circumvent fares regulation by changing peak travel times, introducing compulsory seat reservation charges, high car parking fees etc.;
  • Advance purchase fares are not regulated by the Department for Transport in the same way as season tickets and open tickets;
  • The demise of indigenous rail manufacturing continues;
  • Train operating companies immunity from any real commercial risk;
  • Rolling stock ownership and leasing is dominated by a few highly profitable enterprises;
  • The apparent ease with which train operators are able to reduce ticket office facilities in terms of opening hours, numbers of windows etc., and
  • Excessive reward for a small number of railway industry executives paid for from fare revenue and, to a greater or lesser, extent subsidies from the public purse.

TSSA believes that these problems can only be overcome by an industry that is publicly owned and democratically accountable to the public with services being run in the interests of passengers, not for company profits.

In 2010 we reaffirmed our long standing policy for a publicly owned and accountable rail industry run on a not-for-profit basis, or where profits are generated such profits are re-invested in the industry.

All forms of public transport have a contribution to make in resolving many problems, including more efficient use of dwindling energy reserves, reducing congestion on roads and regeneration and economic development as well as promoting social inclusion.

Staffing, safety and public service

TSSA believes that proper staffing levels contribute enormously to a safer environment for both passengers and transport workers. Staff are also able to provide a better service – most passenger would prefer to deal with a person than a vending machine. We strongly oppose employers who put profit before safety by using every opportunity to cut staff numbers.

Working with others

TSSA is committed to working with other trade unions and progressive organisations like the Campaign for Better Transport and Freight on Rail to promote the transport industry in which our members work.

Current issues and useful links

Information on current issues together with links to useful websites are published here: