Monday, 24 August 2009

BRITISH RAIL FARES THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 24th August 2009 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 079444 71083

BRITISH RAIL FARES THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD

As news that South Eastern is exempt from next year’s cuts in rail fares came in, investment bank UBS revealed that British Rail fares are the highest in the world (1). This means Kent and Medway are hit twice – once by missing out on a fares cut, and again by the UK’s excessive rail fares. Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair of Kent Green Party, and a rail commuter herself, comments:

“So now its official. We have the highest rail fares in the world. And in Kent we will not even benefit by the rail fares cut caused by the drop in inflation. The botched privatization of our railways has not brought the consumer benefits we were promised (2). Kent’s traffic congestion is a testament to the high cost of rail (and bus) fares and a general failure to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“We desperately need a new Kent Local Transport Plan to cut congestion and air pollution. It should focus on creating a road user hierarchy – walking, cycling, buses first – to encourage more people to use their cars less. But for a lot of journeys, cheaper rail services are essential. Over 10 years of talk by Government about ‘sustainable’ transport has been accompanied by under-investment in our railways (3). It is possible to move people and goods without putting more carbon into our atmosphere (4). Joined-up investment is needed from Government and Medway Council and Kent County Council, not more roads.”

Ends c 248 words

FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair – Kent Green Party – on 01732 355185 or 079444 71083. Contact address as above.

Notes:
1. SEE: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article614357.ece?print=yes&randnum=1151003209000 and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/british-train-fares-are-highest-in-world-but-london-slips-down-priciest-cities-list-1774544.html
2. Christian Wolmar – Broken Rails: how privatisation wrecked Britain’s railways (Aurum, 2001).
3. Ian Docherty and Jon Shaw – eds – Traffic Jam: ten years of ‘sustainable’ transport in the UK (Policy Press, 2008).
4. Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl – Transport Revolutions: moving people and freight without oil (Earthscan, 2008).

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