Sunday, 8 July 2012

GREENS CALL FOR AN END TO RAIL FRANCHISE

Kent Green Party is opposed to South Eastern Trains retaining the South East Rail Franchise. Steve Dawe explains:

“The Government is consulting the public about the South East Rail Franchise. Details of how to respond to the consultation can be found at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-29/ Kent Green Party is opposed to retaining South Eastern Trains as the Franchise holder. But the Party is also calling for renationalisation of the railways as the cheaper and more efficient option(1)

“Kent Green Party is not satisfied by South Eastern’s ticket prices or performance. Network card are far too expensive; rail fares are absurdly high; services are not adequate in many areas; discrepancies between claimed performance and that observed by rail commuters’ associations are frequent(2). We agree with Kent MPs and rail commuters’ associations that South Eastern must go. However, whilst the system of using rail franchises exists there will continue to be excessive costs. Managerial and administrative posts have risen dramatically under privatization; returns to shareholders and staff bonuses are also avoidable costs. As new research demonstrates, renationalising the railways could well be cheaper (3).

“We urge the public to respond to the consultation and dismiss both South Eastern and the idea of rail franchising. It has, after all, proven to be an expensive form of subsidy to private sector activity. The State has been paying most of the costs, providing managerial support through the Strategic Rail Authority, funding Network Rail and acting as a loan and investment guarantor to the industry. We don’t need this.”
ends

FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe, Press Officer of Kent Green Party, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe and published by Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. Monthly free ezine KENT GREEN NEWS available for subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org
Notes:
1.    UK rail fares are reputedly the highest in the world and about 50% above the European average.
2.    Service claims made by South Eastern during the period of the two recent severe winters were above those by passengers on many occasions, as was noted.
3.    Transport for Quality of Life in Rebuilding Rail - http://www.transportforqualityoflife.com/u/files/120630_Rebuilding_Rail_Final_Report_print_version.pdf

1 comment:

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