Rail fares up again

Chris Grayling has spent the day wandering the TV studios trying to defend today’s 3.1% rail price rise. He’s been blaming it on wage increases, telling Sky News

“I don’t want to see fares rise in the way they have – of course not. The reality is though that costs do rise. Wages in particular rise very sharply in the industry.

“The money can only come from one of two places – it can only came from either the taxpayer or from people who use the railways. That’s just the reality.”

Wages are particularly high in HS2 Ltd, wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Transport, aka Chris Grayling, with a quarter of its’ staff on six figure salaries and 15 HS2 employees earning over £250,000 a year.

The thing is though HS2 is wholly paid for by the taxpayer and is swallowing a third of the rail infrastructure budget to enable people with an already good service to be able to get to London a little bit faster. Meanwhile in the kinds of areas where rail investment really could make a difference, passengers are getting the fare increases but still expected to use trains dating back decades.

Fair? We don’t think so.

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