Worthing and Shoreham rail price increases show renationalisation is ‘urgent’

The protests on January 2 against rising rail fares raise a number of issues, not just the obvious fact that prices rise while the service declines.

The Office of Rail and Road officially declared 2018 the poorest year for punctuality since 2005.

Worthing Railway Station. Picture: Google Maps/Google Streetview

Worthing Railway Station. Picture: Google Maps/Google Streetview

An annual season ticket from Worthing to Victoria has risen from £4,752 (£5,616 with connecting underground) to £4,900 (£5,792). What are passengers getting in return for those prices?

Nationally, the cost of rail travel in the UK now averages £1 a mile – rising to £1.70 per mile on the Heathrow Express. The cost of car journeys is estimated by the tax office at 45p per mile, so that hardly encourages traffic off our roads.

Comparing season tickets as a percentage of average income, the UK comes out far more expensive than any other European country.

We traditionally top the league at around 14 per cent, with Germany at less than eight per cent.

Ironically, Germany and French trains are state owned, whereas UK trains were privatised to achieve ‘more investment’.

State-owned European trains are clean, cheap and on time, while people from Worthing and Shoreham trying to get to work have to pay more and more to get less and less.

It’s profiteering of the worst kind. The logic for renationalising is clear and increasingly urgent.

Lavinia O’Connor

Labour Party prospective parliamentary candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham,

Sussex Wharf, Shoreham Beach

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