This is my MP’s response to my signature on a petition email ref. future fare rises. I’ve isolated one sentence put it in Bold Face for emphasis.
As she is a member of the Shadow Cabinet, I would say that they still don’t favour this, or any other re-nationalisation.
Rather, their intent is to make privatisation “work”.
Yvonne Fovargue MP House of Commons
22 August 2014
Dear Mr Shale
Thank you for contacting me regarding rail fare increases and the ownership of the rail network.
I appreciate and share the concerns of passengers who are faced with steep rail fare increases and I know this is having a serious impact on household incomes. Rising rail fares and season ticket prices, which have gone up by 20% on average since 2010, are also contributing to the cost of living crisis that is affecting people across the country.
I believe there needs to be real reform of our railways in order to reduce costs and improve services for passengers. The Government should, for example, impose a strict cap on rail fares, reform ticketing and remove the power for train companies to `flex’ fares.
The Government have also made a real mess of their rail franchising programme. Their disastrous handling of the West Coast Main Line franchise has cost the taxpayer at least £55 million and they have taken the unnecessary and dogmatic decision to privatise Intercity services on the East Coast Main Line even though East Coast is working well and will have returned around £1 billion to the taxpayer by the end of this financial year.
There should, of course, be no return to old style British Rail and there can be no blank cheque.
However, it is clear that the current system is flawed and that we need to find a better way forward so that franchising arrangements reflect value for taxpayers’ money and create a more coherent system.
I know that the Shadow Transport Team are looking at pragmatic and affordable solutions to this as part of their policy review process and I can assure you that will continue to follow this closely.
I will continue to bear in mind the points you raise and I thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.
Labour Member for Makerfield