Photo: Louise and other Action4Rail campaigners speaking to commuters at Thornaby station about the price of rail fares.
Over the last five years, passengers have been hit by eye-watering fare increases on buses and railways.
Louise has spent time meeting commuters at Thornaby station to talk about the impact of the latest hike in rail fares. Annual season tickets have risen an eye watering 25% since 2010!
The Government also fast-tracked the privatisation of the East Coast mainline, a line which had been making a profit for the taxpayer after two private franchises ended in abject failure. As part of the deal with Virgin and StageCoach Sunderland has been promised a direct connection by December 2015, but Thornaby and Middlesbrough passengers have to wait until 2020. With his unqualified support for the privatisation of the franchise, James Wharton MP has let Teesside commuters down.
Buses are also one of the top issues raised with Louise on the doorstep across the constituency. We have seen passengers stranded and isolated through the withdrawal of services. Read more on Labour's plan to give back power to local communities to save crucial bus routes.
We need an affordable transport system that puts the public first and where decisions about services are taken closer to the passengers who use them.
Here is how we will achieve this
- Rail fares will be frozen next year to help commuters while we implement reforms. A strict cap will be introduced on every route for any future fare rises and a new legal right for passengers will be created to access the cheapest ticket for their journey.
- We will legislate so that a public sector operator is allowed to take on rail lines and challenge the private train-operating companies on a level playing field.
- We will review the franchising process to make sure the Tories’ franchising fiasco is never repeated.
- We will create a new National Rail body to oversee and plan for the railways and give rail users a greater say in how trains operate.
- City and county regions will have more control over the way buses are operated in their area. They will be able to decide routes, bear down on fares, drive improvements in services, and bring together trains, buses and trams into a single network with smart ticketing.
Photo: Louise campaigning at Darlington Station against the ECM privatisation.