Received from: ASLEF
Congress is concerned that commuters are being priced off our railways and are being forced to change jobs, move home, or take alternative modes of transport – which also has a knock-on impact on road congestion and air pollution.
Congress regrets that in January 2018 fares across all operators were 20 per cent higher in real terms than they were in January 1995. This year regulated fares rose by 3.6 per cent, which is a much higher rate than the median increase in wages.
Congress notes that DfT figures reveal a 9.4 per cent drop in season ticket sales between July and September 2017, compared with the same quarter the previous year, and ORR figures indicate that rail usage fell by 1.4 per cent in the 2017–18 financial year: the biggest fall since 1993–4.
Congress believes that the high cost of season tickets is forcing this decline in train use amongst commuters who are no longer willing to pay rising fares for overcrowded rail services running on unreliable timetables.
Congress condemns the fact the UK’s franchised rail system is run for the profit of private enterprises, not in the public interest. Overall revenue has continued to grow for train operators but now that passenger numbers are stagnating and their massive growth rates are in decline, companies are bailing out and taxpayers are footing the bill.
Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for: an end to the failing franchise system; higher levels of investment in the railway network; affordable fares; and a quality service for all.