National and Local politics from a Liberal Democrat from Gillingham, Kent
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Rail fare Political football
Watching the Twittersphere from my fortress of solitude I noticed that Medway Labour, indeed Kentish Labour, were out in force today at Railway stations to campaign about the rise of train fares and this Government's failure to scrap RPI and for people to have more of a working wage...
I hate to say this but we've heard this all before.
I've been commuting to work in London since April 2008 and my fares have been climbing since then. My monthly fare is now up to £350 odd and is set to rise yet again in January. To some extent this Government, especially under pressure from the Medway Troika of Rehman, Tracey and Mark have listened and kept increases to RPI+1 instead of the usual +3 however when wages are frozen at 1% Per year and with the increases in other bills and costs it is just another bill that we eventually can't afford.
There are no fast answers and I fear that Labour's plans to Nationalise the network, which has the benefit of bringing Railtrack and the various Networks back "In house" may see the networks suffering from under investment or from the dreaded strikes of civil servants should Labour not get in the following Parliament.
Indeed why should I trust Labour with the Railways after they failed to do anything for 13 years of power and the introduction of RPI+3 to get more investment and to pay for HS1, a service that really only benefits a few?
The whole subject has become a political football that is kicked around by the political parties and ultimately it is us, the commuter and public, who are forced to pay for the overcrowded, work shy if the weather is even 4% out of the "Perfect weather conditions" required, dirty cash cow that is Southeastern and other commuter lines.
Who will win, Red or Blues? - It apparently doesn't matter and will be a no score draw.
I'm afraid the only solution I can find to this non ending nightmare and Political posturing and arguments is for me to either win the lottery, write a best seller or find a job in Medway...
The future for Commuters, I'm sorry to say, is bleak...