Saturday, 8 June 2013

BRITAIN'S RAILWAYS ‘WORST IN EUROPE'


ABOVE: Average ticket prices were around twice what passengers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain pay.
“
We do not accept the TUC’s analysis of the rail industry. The fact is privatisation works.
”
A Department for Transport spokesman
8th June 2013

By Gary Nicks

BRITAIN’S rail network was savaged yesterday as the worst in Europe in a damning report branding it the “Great Train Robbery”.

Ripped-off passengers pay the most expensive fares and suffer serious overcrowding, with most trains almost 20 years old.

The only winners are the directors of train companies and their shareholders, who are pocketing 90% of profits.

The network was rubbished in a study by the TUC and Manchester University’s Centre for Research on Social-Cultural Change, which claimed that privatisation of British Rail had not worked.

Despite raking in £500million in profits since 2007, firms remain heavily reliant on taxpayer-funded subsidies for investment in new rolling stock.

Average ticket prices were around twice what passengers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain pay.

The study revealed average fares here have increased at three times the rate of average wages in the past four years.

Yesterday it also emerged that 361,000 trains were cancelled or ran late last year.

The abysmal record by Network Rail meant it missed all its targets for passenger service punctuality.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This study explodes the myth that rail firms are bringing added value to our railways. In reality they rely upon taxpayers to turn a profit, virtually all of which ends up in shareholders’ pockets.”

But a Department for Transport spokesman said: “We do not accept the TUC’s analysis of the rail industry. The fact is privatisation works.”
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