ASLEF: Rail fare rises will drive more people off the network

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has spoken out after the government announced rail fares will rise by 9% next year.

‘After all the effort by rail workers to keep Britain’s railway network running during 17 hard months of lockdown, to keep key workers and essential services moving around this country, and after all the work done to encourage people back onto our trains post-pandemic, I am shocked – but not surprised – that this government is putting up fares yet again.


‘We should be encouraging more people to use our trains – taking cars off the roads and reducing carbon emissions – but this will only deter passengers from travelling. I’m afraid this government either doesn’t understand – or simply doesn’t care – what it is doing.


‘We have seen fare rises across the piece for the last three years with the privately-owned train operating companies making millions of pounds in profit and paying big dividends to shareholders – money which leaves the system, and often leaves this country – while rail workers have not had a pay rise for four years. I do hope the government doesn’t try to tell anyone this is our fault. It isn’t. This is a fare rise made in Downing Street, and at the DfT, by people who don’t want our railways to thrive for passengers and businesses in Britain.’


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