I challenged Transport Minister Jo Johnson today about the extortionate cost of rail fares on the Great Western line. It costs 3 times more for a standard return ticket from Cardiff Central to London than it does to fly from Cardiff Airport to Barcelona and back. Rip off fares, delays and cancellations mean that unsurprisingly, fewer people have used our railways in the past year.

The privatised rail model has failed abjectly. Taxpayers are bearing the losses whilst the train operating companies and their shareholders pocket the gains. Labour’s policy of a publicly owned railway is the solution.

You can see my exchange with the Minister below;

Jo Stevens: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Rail passenger usage is falling Is it any wonder that my constituents in Cardiff Central are giving up on using the train when a standard return rail ticket to London for a morning meeting costs £235.

They can fly from our Welsh Labour Government owned Cardiff Airport to Barcelona and back three times and still have change for the taxi home.

Jo Johnson: Mr Speaker, the Government is conscious of the cost of fares to the travelling public and for that reason has ensured that rail fares have risen at a lower rate than they did under the last Labour Government. The causes of the decline of season ticket numbers are complex, while the statistics show a fall in journeys made using season tickets there has been an increase in journeys using other ticket types over the last year factors such as strikes, station closures, and weather have also had an impact on season ticket use.

  1. Alun Griffiths says:

    Well done Jo for raising your question.
    I have for the first time in my life opted to go by bus to London instead of the train.
    My last journey on GWR was an awful experience.
    I was booked on the 2.15 pm train from Paddington to Cardiff which was delayed in Ealing for 2 hours we were then suddenly terminated at Bristol Parkway and told to get the next train to Cardiff from a different platform. I am over 65 with chronic arthritis. People were already getting on the train as we were being told it was terminating here. It already been announced that it was going back to London.
    When I got to the new platform it was dangerously full and no staff present to help the situation.
    When the next train came it was already full but I managed to get in the door and stood all the way to Cardiff.
    I arrived at 7pm!!
    I have claimed compensation but was rejected as not their fault.
    I explained the delays as being their fault apart from initial delay due to incident at Slough.
    I appealed and wait for decision.
    I would also urge you(and all other Welsh MPs) to hold the government to account on the percentage of rail money spent in Wales. Our share should be at least 5 % but apparently is 1.5%!
    Kind regards,
    Alun Griffiths

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