Since 2010, the Tory-led government has allowed the train companies to hit passengers in Milton Keynes, with fares set to rise next year by an additional 3.2%. This will mean a massive fare rise of over 40 per cent for commuters since 2010.
Today, July’s inflation figure of 3.2% was officially released. This figure will set the 2019 price rise for regulated fares, including season tickets from Milton Keynes to London.
As more people are moving to Milton Keynes, and commuting into London, we need to make sure residents benefit from an efficient and cost-effective rail service. With today’s July inflation figure announced at 3.2%, a season ticket from Milton Keynes to London which in 2010 cost £3,832 will in January 2019 cost £5,374. That is an increase of £1,542 or 40%.
The High Pay Centre announced yesterday that pay for top CEOs increased by 11% last year, while pay for average workers is failing to keep up with inflation. This creates a cost-of-living squeeze for commuters across the country, as train fares rise much faster than wages.
Charlynne Pullen, the Labour Candidate for Milton Keynes North will campaign for our rail services to put passengers before profit. On our railways, we pay some of the highest fares in Europe for increasingly unreliable and overcrowded services.
Labour will prioritise public service over private profit. And we will start by bringing our railways back into public ownership, as franchises expire or, in other cases, with franchise reviews or break clauses. We will introduce a Public Ownership of the Railways Bill to repeal the Railways Act 1993 under which the Conservatives privatised our railways.
In public ownership, we will deliver real improvements for passengers by capping fares, introducing free wi-fi across the network, ensuring safe staffing levels, ending the expansion of driver only operations, and introducing legal duties to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.
Commenting, Charlynne Pullen, Labour’s candidate in Milton Keynes North said:
“The Conservative government is presiding over a rip‐off railway in Britain, costing commuters more and on many lines, failing to deliver. Commuters in Milton Keynes are being hit with massive fare rises, and the rise in 2019 will mean season tickets have increased by over 40 per cent since 2010.
“In Milton Keynes, commuters are forced people to pay thousands of pounds more to commute to work on increasingly overcrowded trains, while the Tories give tax breaks to millionaires. A Labour government would renationalise the railways, so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.”
Andy MacDonald, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary said:
“This is a pathetic attempt by Chris Grayling to shift the blame for Tory fares policy. The amount by which train companies can raise regulated fares is the responsibility of the Transport Secretary. He has the power to enforce this, he’s just choosing not to.
“Chris Grayling made no similar request for the bosses of train companies to take a pay cut or for shareholders to refuse dividends. The men and women who run the railway are being singled out while greedy train companies are let off the hook yet again.
“The truth is that our fragmented, privatised railway drives up costs and leaves passengers paying more for less, not staff.
“The railways need serious reform, not a plea to train companies, but Ministers are persisting with a failed model of privatisation that is punishing passengers and taxpayers. Instead, Labour would use money saved from bringing passenger services into public ownership to cap regulated fare rises at the Consumer Price Index.”