Regulated rail fares may be set to rise by just one per cent next year, but Labour leadership front-runner Jeremy Corbyn has called them a “rip off”, insisting only his plan to renationalise the railways will deliver savings for consumers.
Speaking at a rally at Kings Cross Station yesterday, Corbyn said that “extricating the railways from the mess of privatisation could save hundreds of millions of pounds”.
The Islington North MP said that he would take rail lines back into public ownership when their franchises expired, adding that his proposed so-called “people’s QE” scheme would draw upon the Bank of England to fund improvements to the railways.
Regulated rail fares are currently pegged to the July Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation, which the ONS said yesterday was one per cent. When the fare increase goes into effect next year, it will be the second-lowest rail fare increase since 1996.
But research published yesterday bolstered Corbyn’s argument, showing that the cost of train travel had risen nearly three times faster than wages over the past five years. Regulated ticket prices increased by 25 per cent between 2010 and 2015, while average pay rose nine per cent during this period, according to the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
General secretary Frances O’Grady said the fare hikes left commuters “seriously out of pocket”.