Few thoughts on rail price hike..

Yet another “present” from ConDem Government – an increase of 6.2% in rail price from Jan 2013 onwards.  But can the austerity stricken Britain and it’s common public bear this increase?

Let us see a bit closer – Per Just Economics, Britain has a railway network in Europe, which is

  • the most expensive  (14p per kilometre, compared with 8p/km in Germany/France/Holland
  • least efficient
  • most crowded, next only to Spain

In February 2012, Just Economics had published report that categorised European countries based on various headings as below:

As you could see, UK has the last rank in 4 categories and second last in one.  The only category where UK tops the table is for frequency.

The full report at Just Economics website, which clearly prove Britain’s railway is in a crisis for decades.  Just Economics attribute this dire status to the reforms which resulted in a shift in emphasis from a social model to a business-oriented approach.

Let us re-read that comment:

…shift in emphasis from a social model to a business-oriented approach

Rightly said!

Main objective of privatising railways was to allow rail barons to accumulate profits.  Just think – when the British tax payer paid to lay the rail across the length and breadth of Britain, where were these private companies?  They had not put in a single penny at that time.  Now, when it is time for the taxpayer to use the infrastructure for which he/she paid long before, private companies have been allowed to make profit out of that!

On top of this, railway companies get billions of pounds in subsidies each year.  Where are these funds going?  Are they being re-directed efficiently for the better?  Who is over looking this?

Current hike in rail prices too point to this – it is mainly to help the rail companies to sky-rocket their profits and pay handsome bonuses to their top officials.  They are least bothered about providing this country with an efficient rail network.  If they were, we would not have been at the bottom on the list above.

Why should a traveller pay the highest price for these worst services from UK rail industry?  What is this Government doing to control rail industry and ensure that they play fair?  We are anxious for an answer from the rich-man’s Prime Minister and a doormat Deputy.  We still hear nothing…

What should be done?  Re-nationalise the railways.  That is the only way to ensure that Government’s – our own – money is invested on rail improvement – and not to increase the profits of greedy rail bosses.

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