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.