Ripping-off of rail users must stop

I COMMUTE daily to and from London so understand how much people need a reliable and quality train service.

Earlier this year I spent the rush hour talking to and handing out surveys to commuters. All respondents were unhappy about ticket prices and the majority were unhappy with levels of service. It is an absolute joke for the Government to say that increasing rail fares will make life better for passengers.

When I spoke to commuters during my mobile train surgeries and commuter surveys, one man told me he could no longer afford the £5,000 yearly price and had to reduce the numbers of days he worked to make ends meet. Another man was uprooting his family because of the travel costs and moving them closer to London.

I understand that wages are usually higher in London than they are in Hastings, but many people are now finding these eye-watering ticket prices too high to make the commute worthwhile and it is time that the public had more of a say about how these train companies operate.

Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is used to subsidise the rail networks every year, yet the public currently have no say on what levels of service we should expect, how they are run or the profits they make. Ripping off commuters should not be allowed to continue and I’d like to see passengers being put first with a ban on train companies from increasing fares above a strict cap of one per cent above inflation across all routes.


Labour parliamentary candidate for Hastings and Rye