22:35 GMT +312 December 2019
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    (File) A man stands outside the locked gates of St Paul's underground station in central London, on November 3, 2010

    British Fury As Train Fares Spike

    © AFP 2019 / Leon Neal
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    Train fares in the United Kingdom have risen to their highest level in five years amid widespread protests and criticism from opposition politicians.

    The price of average train fares in the UK rose on January 2 by 3.4 percent while seasonal tickets between cities rose by 3.6 percent amid widespread public opposition.

    According the Rail Delivery Group which represents the privatized rail-system, the largest proportion of train-ticket fares is invested in rail upgrades and expansions of the infrastructure system.  

    The claims have done little to hose down the public outcry over the costs rail-transport in the UK, which is now six times as expensive as in other Western European countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands.

    The organization Action For Rail which calls for the nation's railways to be re-nationalized claimed that many people living in and around were paying up to 14 percent of their yearly income just to meet the costs of commuting to and from work at the beginning of 2017.

    ​​Mick Whelan, the Secretary-General of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) said in a press-release January 2 that, "It is absolutely unfair that the industry they subsidise creates transport poverty and hurts the communities and industries that they should be supporting."

    "Passengers are paying the penalty fare for privatisation, a flawed and failing model that everyone in the rail industry can see doesn't work.  Hundreds of millions of pounds are haemhorraging from our industry every year — money desperately needed to improve our infrastructure, to continue with electrification, and reduce passenger fares which are among the highest in the world."

    Since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader in late 2015, the Labour Party's declared policy on rail transport has been to take the system back into public ownership as the operators' contracts expire.

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    Tags:
    public transport, privatization, nationalization, railway, Transport for London (TfL), Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, United Kingdom
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