Once again our rail fare are rising with the regular post Christmas ramp up of rail fares. Welsh commuters travelling on Great Western Railway lines will have to pay 3.1% more for their tickets. Many annual season tickets prices have increased yet again e.g. a season ticket between Neath to Cardiff, has gone up by £56 to £1,708.
The idiots (some of whom may have found themselves well paid handsomely salaried executive employment post rail privatization) who decided that privatisation of the railways was a good idea – have left us with an overly expensive and fragmented rail network.
Personally I don’t trust Westminster (or the Labour Party) to run our railways, look at the mess they made last time and the mess they made privatizing our chronically underinvested railways. Barely concealed behind the fare rises Westminster is not so quietly washings its hands of investing in our railways and shoving the costs of investment onto rail users and the franchise holders.
Effectively unrestrained and largely unsupervised, the rail companies have been continuing to ramp up rail fares again, while running often minimal rail services, all with the tacit co-operation of the Westminster Government’s, the Department for transport (in London).
Here in Wales it did not help much when both Welsh Labour and Welsh Conservative MPs at Westminster voted against the devolution of that portion of rail track within Wales – something that would have enabled work on our railways to be planned and actually carried out.
Arriva (Deutsche Bahn) withdrawal from bidding for the next Wales franchise won’t solve our problems with our poorly developed and badly fragmented rail network. Not when Netherlands State Railways, French State Railways and Hong Kong State Metro are waiting in the wings; as the three remaining contenders for the franchise.
With the best will in the world we may end up with more of the same as all of whom (just like most of the other franchise holders) will rake in the profits to fund investments and cheap rail fares in their home countries. Think on that when we are rattling along in our over crowded ancient but relabeled / rebadged rail franchise.