Commuters protest rail fare rise

Gazette: Passengers at Colchester North station, who faced higher fares from today. Passengers at Colchester North station, who faced higher fares from today.

COMMUTERS have slammed a rail fare increase which came into effect in the new year.

Rail operator Greater Anglia has raised ticket prices by an average of 4.2 per cent in line with a Government cap. Since 2008 a season ticket from Colchester to Liverpool Street has gone up by 21.8 per cent from £3,740 to £4,556, with an increase this year of 4.11 per cent from £4,376.

But passengers have spoken out against the increase, saying there is no improvement in service to justify the rise.

A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “Annual fare rises help to maintain investment in the railways and are determined largely by government policy as confirmed in the Autumn Statement.”

  • Read more, including reaction from rail passengers, in Wednesday's Gazette.

Comments (20)

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5:07pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Im_Like_HELLO says...

It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.
It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares. Im_Like_HELLO
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Wed 2 Jan 13

wormshero says...

Not all of us who get the train work in London. My season ticket has gone up by a similar percentage and I'm only 20 minutes down the line. Salary has not gone up by even half that percentage, obviously.

That said other than "speaking out" what are these "protesters" doing? I bet they're not boycotting the line. It's a stupid system to be honest, essentially multiple monopolies. With no competition for customers to vote with their wallet there's no reason for prices to go anywhere other than up.
Not all of us who get the train work in London. My season ticket has gone up by a similar percentage and I'm only 20 minutes down the line. Salary has not gone up by even half that percentage, obviously. That said other than "speaking out" what are these "protesters" doing? I bet they're not boycotting the line. It's a stupid system to be honest, essentially multiple monopolies. With no competition for customers to vote with their wallet there's no reason for prices to go anywhere other than up. wormshero
  • Score: 0

7:25pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Dillinga says...

Im_Like_HELLO wrote:
It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.
And what about those people that work in Ipswich who have seen a £7 a month increase or workers who travel to Chelmsford or Witham for example? it may come as a shiv to you but there are several stops along the route not all passengers boarding at Colchester are travelling to London.
[quote][p][bold]Im_Like_HELLO[/bold] wrote: It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.[/p][/quote]And what about those people that work in Ipswich who have seen a £7 a month increase or workers who travel to Chelmsford or Witham for example? it may come as a shiv to you but there are several stops along the route not all passengers boarding at Colchester are travelling to London. Dillinga
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Wed 2 Jan 13

jut1972 says...

Im_Like_HELLO wrote:
It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.
Suprised you can afford the fare to cloud cuckoo land... London wages are not that much more than here. There are more jobs but they arent higher paid, certainly not enough to justify 4.5k take home difference plus 2-3 hours extra commuting.

Wormshero has it spot on, its a nonsense system that fleeces you as there is no competition or choice save changing jobs which for most people isnt an option.
[quote][p][bold]Im_Like_HELLO[/bold] wrote: It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.[/p][/quote]Suprised you can afford the fare to cloud cuckoo land... London wages are not that much more than here. There are more jobs but they arent higher paid, certainly not enough to justify 4.5k take home difference plus 2-3 hours extra commuting. Wormshero has it spot on, its a nonsense system that fleeces you as there is no competition or choice save changing jobs which for most people isnt an option. jut1972
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Wed 2 Jan 13

jim_bo says...

£55 return to London.

It's a bargain.... Oh no that's right you can park all day in London for £15.
£55 return to London. It's a bargain.... Oh no that's right you can park all day in London for £15. jim_bo
  • Score: 0

11:33pm Wed 2 Jan 13

6079 Smith W says...

Dillinga wrote:
Im_Like_HELLO wrote:
It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.
And what about those people that work in Ipswich who have seen a £7 a month increase or workers who travel to Chelmsford or Witham for example? it may come as a shiv to you but there are several stops along the route not all passengers boarding at Colchester are travelling to London.
Yup, I'll be joining the commuter set on Monday, and my new job is not in London.

So many privatisations have become a legalised extortion racket, and the trains are probably the worst of the lot. We pay through the nose in fairs, but we also pay through the nose via taxation. Government subsidy for fat cat train companies is actually higher than in most of Europe, with their state run rail companies.
[quote][p][bold]Dillinga[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Im_Like_HELLO[/bold] wrote: It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.[/p][/quote]And what about those people that work in Ipswich who have seen a £7 a month increase or workers who travel to Chelmsford or Witham for example? it may come as a shiv to you but there are several stops along the route not all passengers boarding at Colchester are travelling to London.[/p][/quote]Yup, I'll be joining the commuter set on Monday, and my new job is not in London. So many privatisations have become a legalised extortion racket, and the trains are probably the worst of the lot. We pay through the nose in fairs, but we also pay through the nose via taxation. Government subsidy for fat cat train companies is actually higher than in most of Europe, with their state run rail companies. 6079 Smith W
  • Score: 0

9:27am Thu 3 Jan 13

Douglas Park says...

jut1972 wrote:
Im_Like_HELLO wrote:
It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.
Suprised you can afford the fare to cloud cuckoo land... London wages are not that much more than here. There are more jobs but they arent higher paid, certainly not enough to justify 4.5k take home difference plus 2-3 hours extra commuting.

Wormshero has it spot on, its a nonsense system that fleeces you as there is no competition or choice save changing jobs which for most people isnt an option.
Like for like, London wages are significantly higher than what you can earn within a 30min commute of Colchester. Moreover, most of the commuters work in sectors that are generally not found regionally.

Thankfully most employers operate season-ticket loan schemes which helps spread the cost and deducts at source, but there is no escaping the fact that salaries are diminishing in real terms.

Investment in the infrastructure is two-fold. There are the rail companies such as GA who run the service and the trains and they themselves have admitted there will be no new investment in rolling stock beyond some cosmetic refurbishment, as they only have the franchise for another 18 months or so.

But a lot of the issues facing commuters is to do with track maintenance and signals and that's up to Network Rail, a public company, so why aren't we seeing any real investment of fare-rises there?

Thankfully I now work from home 70% and don't have the London commute to contend with.
[quote][p][bold]jut1972[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Im_Like_HELLO[/bold] wrote: It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.[/p][/quote]Suprised you can afford the fare to cloud cuckoo land... London wages are not that much more than here. There are more jobs but they arent higher paid, certainly not enough to justify 4.5k take home difference plus 2-3 hours extra commuting. Wormshero has it spot on, its a nonsense system that fleeces you as there is no competition or choice save changing jobs which for most people isnt an option.[/p][/quote]Like for like, London wages are significantly higher than what you can earn within a 30min commute of Colchester. Moreover, most of the commuters work in sectors that are generally not found regionally. Thankfully most employers operate season-ticket loan schemes which helps spread the cost and deducts at source, but there is no escaping the fact that salaries are diminishing in real terms. Investment in the infrastructure is two-fold. There are the rail companies such as GA who run the service and the trains and they themselves have admitted there will be no new investment in rolling stock beyond some cosmetic refurbishment, as they only have the franchise for another 18 months or so. But a lot of the issues facing commuters is to do with track maintenance and signals and that's up to Network Rail, a public company, so why aren't we seeing any real investment of fare-rises there? Thankfully I now work from home 70% and don't have the London commute to contend with. Douglas Park
  • Score: 0

9:28am Thu 3 Jan 13

grannygrunt says...

Im_Like_HELLO wrote:
It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.
Hmm .. well I never did earn a high salary in London (working in the public sector) and no pay rise for many years. So I'm trying to pay for a 2013 ticket with a 2005 pay packet. Having said that, we know that fare rises are a fact of life; the levels however are quite unjustifiable and there are very few perks for regular commuters who a) must keep the rail networks afloat and b) allow rail companies to offer less regular tickets at 2 for 1 prices!!
[quote][p][bold]Im_Like_HELLO[/bold] wrote: It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.[/p][/quote]Hmm .. well I never did earn a high salary in London (working in the public sector) and no pay rise for many years. So I'm trying to pay for a 2013 ticket with a 2005 pay packet. Having said that, we know that fare rises are a fact of life; the levels however are quite unjustifiable and there are very few perks for regular commuters who a) must keep the rail networks afloat and b) allow rail companies to offer less regular tickets at 2 for 1 prices!! grannygrunt
  • Score: 0

10:16am Thu 3 Jan 13

Scoot says...

With you Granny, the commuters who include some of the lowest paid workers in the country (retailers) keep these lines afloat and get nothing in return (unless you include standing in overcrowded trains as a benefit). Our wonderful train company has in the past also given the daytrippers benefits during school holidays by allowing them to travel at peak time with off-peak tickets but we get nothing. I'm just waiting for NCP to put their prices up way above inflation for no reason at all.....Dick Turpin springs to mind..
With you Granny, the commuters who include some of the lowest paid workers in the country (retailers) keep these lines afloat and get nothing in return (unless you include standing in overcrowded trains as a benefit). Our wonderful train company has in the past also given the daytrippers benefits during school holidays by allowing them to travel at peak time with off-peak tickets but we get nothing. I'm just waiting for NCP to put their prices up way above inflation for no reason at all.....Dick Turpin springs to mind.. Scoot
  • Score: 0

10:24am Thu 3 Jan 13

mirokou says...

https://www.facebook
.com/bringbackbritis
hrail
https://www.facebook .com/bringbackbritis hrail mirokou
  • Score: 0

11:27am Thu 3 Jan 13

col utd till i die says...

What a joke annual investment that I dont think is visible. My wages have been frozen for the last 4 years and these increases are becoming impossible to sustain. We need to do something and make the government realise that these increases are affecting families.
What a joke annual investment that I dont think is visible. My wages have been frozen for the last 4 years and these increases are becoming impossible to sustain. We need to do something and make the government realise that these increases are affecting families. col utd till i die
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Thu 3 Jan 13

wormshero says...

Douglas Park wrote:
jut1972 wrote:
Im_Like_HELLO wrote:
It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.
Suprised you can afford the fare to cloud cuckoo land... London wages are not that much more than here. There are more jobs but they arent higher paid, certainly not enough to justify 4.5k take home difference plus 2-3 hours extra commuting.

Wormshero has it spot on, its a nonsense system that fleeces you as there is no competition or choice save changing jobs which for most people isnt an option.
Like for like, London wages are significantly higher than what you can earn within a 30min commute of Colchester. Moreover, most of the commuters work in sectors that are generally not found regionally.

Thankfully most employers operate season-ticket loan schemes which helps spread the cost and deducts at source, but there is no escaping the fact that salaries are diminishing in real terms.

Investment in the infrastructure is two-fold. There are the rail companies such as GA who run the service and the trains and they themselves have admitted there will be no new investment in rolling stock beyond some cosmetic refurbishment, as they only have the franchise for another 18 months or so.

But a lot of the issues facing commuters is to do with track maintenance and signals and that's up to Network Rail, a public company, so why aren't we seeing any real investment of fare-rises there?

Thankfully I now work from home 70% and don't have the London commute to contend with.
While I agree with most of your points, I just wanted to say that while season loans are offered by seemingly most employers for staff on full time contracts, the problem a lot of people are facing at the moment is that large a proportion of work out there is contract based (even on long contracts) to make life easier for the employer, and in my experience even when the contract has been longer than the period of the season ticket employers are generally reluctant to lend out money. I know personally I have to save money wherever I can to buy the following years pass as it comes (I used monthly tickets for the first half a year to fund the following year)
[quote][p][bold]Douglas Park[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jut1972[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Im_Like_HELLO[/bold] wrote: It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.[/p][/quote]Suprised you can afford the fare to cloud cuckoo land... London wages are not that much more than here. There are more jobs but they arent higher paid, certainly not enough to justify 4.5k take home difference plus 2-3 hours extra commuting. Wormshero has it spot on, its a nonsense system that fleeces you as there is no competition or choice save changing jobs which for most people isnt an option.[/p][/quote]Like for like, London wages are significantly higher than what you can earn within a 30min commute of Colchester. Moreover, most of the commuters work in sectors that are generally not found regionally. Thankfully most employers operate season-ticket loan schemes which helps spread the cost and deducts at source, but there is no escaping the fact that salaries are diminishing in real terms. Investment in the infrastructure is two-fold. There are the rail companies such as GA who run the service and the trains and they themselves have admitted there will be no new investment in rolling stock beyond some cosmetic refurbishment, as they only have the franchise for another 18 months or so. But a lot of the issues facing commuters is to do with track maintenance and signals and that's up to Network Rail, a public company, so why aren't we seeing any real investment of fare-rises there? Thankfully I now work from home 70% and don't have the London commute to contend with.[/p][/quote]While I agree with most of your points, I just wanted to say that while season loans are offered by seemingly most employers for staff on full time contracts, the problem a lot of people are facing at the moment is that large a proportion of work out there is contract based (even on long contracts) to make life easier for the employer, and in my experience even when the contract has been longer than the period of the season ticket employers are generally reluctant to lend out money. I know personally I have to save money wherever I can to buy the following years pass as it comes (I used monthly tickets for the first half a year to fund the following year) wormshero
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Thu 3 Jan 13

jut1972 says...

Douglas Park wrote:
jut1972 wrote:
Im_Like_HELLO wrote:
It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.
Suprised you can afford the fare to cloud cuckoo land... London wages are not that much more than here. There are more jobs but they arent higher paid, certainly not enough to justify 4.5k take home difference plus 2-3 hours extra commuting.

Wormshero has it spot on, its a nonsense system that fleeces you as there is no competition or choice save changing jobs which for most people isnt an option.
Like for like, London wages are significantly higher than what you can earn within a 30min commute of Colchester. Moreover, most of the commuters work in sectors that are generally not found regionally.

Thankfully most employers operate season-ticket loan schemes which helps spread the cost and deducts at source, but there is no escaping the fact that salaries are diminishing in real terms.

Investment in the infrastructure is two-fold. There are the rail companies such as GA who run the service and the trains and they themselves have admitted there will be no new investment in rolling stock beyond some cosmetic refurbishment, as they only have the franchise for another 18 months or so.

But a lot of the issues facing commuters is to do with track maintenance and signals and that's up to Network Rail, a public company, so why aren't we seeing any real investment of fare-rises there?

Thankfully I now work from home 70% and don't have the London commute to contend with.
Sorry I disagree with the like for like comparison. In my industry wages have gone down across the board and there is no extra pay in London. If anything its lower due to the increased competition for jobs.

Also in any low paid industry any London uplift is virtually meaningless when the travel costs are taken into account. Best comment I have read on this topic was from a lad who was on 8k. It takes him over 5 months to earn his train ticket.
[quote][p][bold]Douglas Park[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jut1972[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Im_Like_HELLO[/bold] wrote: It goes with the territory. Those who have chosen (or now have no choice thanks to past decisions) to work in London earn London wages to pay for their fares.[/p][/quote]Suprised you can afford the fare to cloud cuckoo land... London wages are not that much more than here. There are more jobs but they arent higher paid, certainly not enough to justify 4.5k take home difference plus 2-3 hours extra commuting. Wormshero has it spot on, its a nonsense system that fleeces you as there is no competition or choice save changing jobs which for most people isnt an option.[/p][/quote]Like for like, London wages are significantly higher than what you can earn within a 30min commute of Colchester. Moreover, most of the commuters work in sectors that are generally not found regionally. Thankfully most employers operate season-ticket loan schemes which helps spread the cost and deducts at source, but there is no escaping the fact that salaries are diminishing in real terms. Investment in the infrastructure is two-fold. There are the rail companies such as GA who run the service and the trains and they themselves have admitted there will be no new investment in rolling stock beyond some cosmetic refurbishment, as they only have the franchise for another 18 months or so. But a lot of the issues facing commuters is to do with track maintenance and signals and that's up to Network Rail, a public company, so why aren't we seeing any real investment of fare-rises there? Thankfully I now work from home 70% and don't have the London commute to contend with.[/p][/quote]Sorry I disagree with the like for like comparison. In my industry wages have gone down across the board and there is no extra pay in London. If anything its lower due to the increased competition for jobs. Also in any low paid industry any London uplift is virtually meaningless when the travel costs are taken into account. Best comment I have read on this topic was from a lad who was on 8k. It takes him over 5 months to earn his train ticket. jut1972
  • Score: 0

10:22pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Smouldering Ewok says...

We are not living in a time of recession, we are living in a time of greed.
We are not living in a time of recession, we are living in a time of greed. Smouldering Ewok
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Fri 4 Jan 13

catflap1 says...

its a private company, it charges what it likes, pay up or walk.

that's what you get when you all vote for privatisation. lump it
its a private company, it charges what it likes, pay up or walk. that's what you get when you all vote for privatisation. lump it catflap1
  • Score: 0

10:06pm Sun 6 Jan 13

CJ1989 says...

I can't decide where I stand on the economy of the rail network...

I'm all up for the free market, but seeing as there's only one line, there's an innate monopoly, as soon as the tendering is done at least (and we've all seen how well that goes). I firmly believe re-nationalisation would be a total disaster. That doesn't really leave all that many options.

I've heard a few suggestions floated around, including multiple operators using the same lines to give some choice (but logistics, tickets etc would all be pretty complex, and they'd probably just form a cartel).

Another one was to have almost all freight being moved around by rail, rather than articulated lorries, to share the upkeep cost. A bit radical, and I expect very expensive due to the infrastructure required... But the idea of vastly increasing the number of rail depots everywhere, with deliveries being taken just the last few miles by road could (in theory at least) have quite clear benefits.

Realistically though, neither will happen, we'll keep moaning about it, but the status quo will remain and prices will get jacked up year after year.

We do have the freedom of being able to chose where we work though, and (generally speaking) how we get there. I chose to work in Chelmsford instead of London. It only costs me £50 a week in fuel (rather than £50 a day like the train to London). Soon I'll move there and then getting to work will cost exactly £0.

So if/when prices keep going up, a point will come where people will just stop commuting and get jobs locally, but until that happens the operators will keep doing exactly as they like, after all, why wouldn't they?
I can't decide where I stand on the economy of the rail network... I'm all up for the free market, but seeing as there's only one line, there's an innate monopoly, as soon as the tendering is done at least (and we've all seen how well that goes). I firmly believe re-nationalisation would be a total disaster. That doesn't really leave all that many options. I've heard a few suggestions floated around, including multiple operators using the same lines to give some choice (but logistics, tickets etc would all be pretty complex, and they'd probably just form a cartel). Another one was to have almost all freight being moved around by rail, rather than articulated lorries, to share the upkeep cost. A bit radical, and I expect very expensive due to the infrastructure required... But the idea of vastly increasing the number of rail depots everywhere, with deliveries being taken just the last few miles by road could (in theory at least) have quite clear benefits. Realistically though, neither will happen, we'll keep moaning about it, but the status quo will remain and prices will get jacked up year after year. We do have the freedom of being able to chose where we work though, and (generally speaking) how we get there. I chose to work in Chelmsford instead of London. It only costs me £50 a week in fuel (rather than £50 a day like the train to London). Soon I'll move there and then getting to work will cost exactly £0. So if/when prices keep going up, a point will come where people will just stop commuting and get jobs locally, but until that happens the operators will keep doing exactly as they like, after all, why wouldn't they? CJ1989
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Mon 7 Jan 13

zt00013 says...

The rail is still part nationalised, in that the tax payer owns and funds the maintenance of the railway proper. While the profitable aspect of the railway the actual running of the trains is permitted by private companies, in which there is no identifiable competition and thus no pressure on prices. We subsidise the railways and pay way above inflation in ticket increases, which have already outstripped increases in average wages massively since privatisation, which is what really matters, in real terms train tickets become more and more unaffordable every year. The only option is re-nationalisation, only then will the company be run in the interests of those work there and depend on it for work, right now we all lose, while the main parties remain ideological charged and phobic of nationalisation, even where its benefits are obvious to the majority of the nation.
The rail is still part nationalised, in that the tax payer owns and funds the maintenance of the railway proper. While the profitable aspect of the railway the actual running of the trains is permitted by private companies, in which there is no identifiable competition and thus no pressure on prices. We subsidise the railways and pay way above inflation in ticket increases, which have already outstripped increases in average wages massively since privatisation, which is what really matters, in real terms train tickets become more and more unaffordable every year. The only option is re-nationalisation, only then will the company be run in the interests of those work there and depend on it for work, right now we all lose, while the main parties remain ideological charged and phobic of nationalisation, even where its benefits are obvious to the majority of the nation. zt00013
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Mon 7 Jan 13

zt00013 says...

@CJ1989

Your point referring to freedom I would be inclined to disagree with. You need to bear in mind the job market is massively over-supplied at the moment, for young people the struggle is much harder. Take for example a recent graduate from Colchester, for most professions they will have to go to London, the firms are not in the Essex area. Once in London they are searching for a work placement/internship - no experience means no proper job. Now consider London rents, raising a deposit etc. unless you have large cash reserves a move is out of the question, you are forced to commute. Once commuting you can ill afford to save up for a deposit expending much of your wages on travel costs and living costs. Someone earning £30,000 has freedom, yes, but there is no freedom for young or poor people. Someone could choose to be unemployed in Chelmsford or Colchester but what use is that to anyone?
@CJ1989 Your point referring to freedom I would be inclined to disagree with. You need to bear in mind the job market is massively over-supplied at the moment, for young people the struggle is much harder. Take for example a recent graduate from Colchester, for most professions they will have to go to London, the firms are not in the Essex area. Once in London they are searching for a work placement/internship - no experience means no proper job. Now consider London rents, raising a deposit etc. unless you have large cash reserves a move is out of the question, you are forced to commute. Once commuting you can ill afford to save up for a deposit expending much of your wages on travel costs and living costs. Someone earning £30,000 has freedom, yes, but there is no freedom for young or poor people. Someone could choose to be unemployed in Chelmsford or Colchester but what use is that to anyone? zt00013
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Mon 7 Jan 13

romantic says...

In theory, there is competition between companies, but in practice, that does not happen in many places in this country.

Someone has suggested that people can choose to use another method or get a job elsewhere. Well, I guess there is the option of driving, but trying to get to central London for a 9am start would be a major headache. Get another job: again, I´m sure many commuters would happily work more locally if they could, but it is probably a theoretical option for most.

The problem is we have started from a base-line of already high fares (by comparison with almost everywhere else in Europe) and then increased them annually, with the benefits going to the shareholders. Re-nationalisation would bring back together the operators, track owners, maintenance people etc. At the moment, I understand it is cheaper to move a locomotive by road than on the tracks. How can that ever be a sane system?

The problem is, though, that passenger numbers are higher than ever before, so the operators can argue that people are prepared to pay the fares.

I think things may start to change as more companies switch to home-working. Many jobs could be done from home. Not all, but plenty. Trouble is, they would then increase the fares to increase revenue.

The only way to solve this is to re-nationalise and to see the railways as an essential public service, rather than a means to generate dividends for the shareholders.
In theory, there is competition between companies, but in practice, that does not happen in many places in this country. Someone has suggested that people can choose to use another method or get a job elsewhere. Well, I guess there is the option of driving, but trying to get to central London for a 9am start would be a major headache. Get another job: again, I´m sure many commuters would happily work more locally if they could, but it is probably a theoretical option for most. The problem is we have started from a base-line of already high fares (by comparison with almost everywhere else in Europe) and then increased them annually, with the benefits going to the shareholders. Re-nationalisation would bring back together the operators, track owners, maintenance people etc. At the moment, I understand it is cheaper to move a locomotive by road than on the tracks. How can that ever be a sane system? The problem is, though, that passenger numbers are higher than ever before, so the operators can argue that people are prepared to pay the fares. I think things may start to change as more companies switch to home-working. Many jobs could be done from home. Not all, but plenty. Trouble is, they would then increase the fares to increase revenue. The only way to solve this is to re-nationalise and to see the railways as an essential public service, rather than a means to generate dividends for the shareholders. romantic
  • Score: 0

8:58pm Tue 8 Jan 13

CJ1989 says...

zt00013 - I think it's interesting that we can look at a situation and come to the opposite conclusions, but such is the joy of online debate!

The separation of parts of the railway is definitely a problem. The bit that really needs investment to improve services is the infrastructure. The people who know how to improve the service are the operators, but they aren't in control of the tracks. They can invest in new trains, but without new tracks they'll still be limited. And when the franchising process is such a mess, why would a private company invest millions in new equipment when they could lose the rights to operate on a line at the drop of a hat, due to incompetence in the civil service and department of transport? I say privatise the tracks too, and gradually reduce all government subsidies down to nothing. Private companies could run it, own it, and if they do a good job they make money, or make it unaffordable and go bankrupt.

The thought of putting the operation of the entire rail network into the hands of Bob Crowe actually sends a shiver down my spine. Do you really think triple pay on holidays(/weekends) and strikes every week, coupled with the innate inefficiency of a public body will keep costs down and improve service? I'm sure it would serve the people who work there very nicely indeed as you say, but certainly wouldn't help the customers.

I think you've summed up a misconception that isn't helping the situation, that all jobs are in London. Graduates have a lot of choice that isn't London, there are employers in Colchester, Chelmsford, Witham, and Ipswich involved in everything from financial services to construction. If graduates can't get jobs, they need to look at why, not just blame the economy. People need the skills which match employers' requirements, not get a degree in an unrelated subject and expect a job to fall at their feet like they used to.

I do feel for the people who are already established commuters to London though, and are seeing their income eroded more and more each year. But until there's a seismic shift in the way things are done, it will continue indefinitely, so those unlucky folk might as well get out while they can. A 5-10k pay cut would still be worth it if you could ride your bike to work rather than commuting.

romantic - if that fact about it being cheaper to move a locomotive by road rather than rail is true, then it really is a worrying situation we're in. We need big investment in the infrastructure, but it's not going to come from the public purse.

So if anyone knows how to get the private sector to spend a huge chunk of cash on tracks they don't own without passing the cost on to their customers, please write to 10 Downing Street, London...

(the only way I can imagine this happening is getting more freight transport off the roads and onto the rail, reducing transport costs significantly further down the line. Whether it's economically viable is another matter though....)

This is all irrelevant however, as nothing is going to change in our lifetimes!
zt00013 - I think it's interesting that we can look at a situation and come to the opposite conclusions, but such is the joy of online debate! The separation of parts of the railway is definitely a problem. The bit that really needs investment to improve services is the infrastructure. The people who know how to improve the service are the operators, but they aren't in control of the tracks. They can invest in new trains, but without new tracks they'll still be limited. And when the franchising process is such a mess, why would a private company invest millions in new equipment when they could lose the rights to operate on a line at the drop of a hat, due to incompetence in the civil service and department of transport? I say privatise the tracks too, and gradually reduce all government subsidies down to nothing. Private companies could run it, own it, and if they do a good job they make money, or make it unaffordable and go bankrupt. The thought of putting the operation of the entire rail network into the hands of Bob Crowe actually sends a shiver down my spine. Do you really think triple pay on holidays(/weekends) and strikes every week, coupled with the innate inefficiency of a public body will keep costs down and improve service? I'm sure it would serve the people who work there very nicely indeed as you say, but certainly wouldn't help the customers. I think you've summed up a misconception that isn't helping the situation, that all jobs are in London. Graduates have a lot of choice that isn't London, there are employers in Colchester, Chelmsford, Witham, and Ipswich involved in everything from financial services to construction. If graduates can't get jobs, they need to look at why, not just blame the economy. People need the skills which match employers' requirements, not get a degree in an unrelated subject and expect a job to fall at their feet like they used to. I do feel for the people who are already established commuters to London though, and are seeing their income eroded more and more each year. But until there's a seismic shift in the way things are done, it will continue indefinitely, so those unlucky folk might as well get out while they can. A 5-10k pay cut would still be worth it if you could ride your bike to work rather than commuting. romantic - if that fact about it being cheaper to move a locomotive by road rather than rail is true, then it really is a worrying situation we're in. We need big investment in the infrastructure, but it's not going to come from the public purse. So if anyone knows how to get the private sector to spend a huge chunk of cash on tracks they don't own without passing the cost on to their customers, please write to 10 Downing Street, London... (the only way I can imagine this happening is getting more freight transport off the roads and onto the rail, reducing transport costs significantly further down the line. Whether it's economically viable is another matter though....) This is all irrelevant however, as nothing is going to change in our lifetimes! CJ1989
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