17 May 2017
RMT Press Office:
As Northern refuse to settle guards' safety dispute, fares rip-off kicks in this weekend.
RAIL UNION RMT today condemned the shocking fact that while Northern Rail continue to knock back moves to resolve the current guards' safety dispute, the German state-owned operation will be pressing ahead with plans to increase fares substantially from this Sunday, 21 May.
The increase follows a previous hike less than nine months ago in September 2016 as Arriva seek to milk the franchise for every penny they can get.
Despite the pretence of 'rail devolution' it is clear from the announcement that value for money for passengers travelling in the North of England has been shunted into a siding to ensure that profits continue to flow out of the country to subsidise the publicly owned and operated railway in Germany.
A shocking example of this latest rip off is the revelation that the so-called Cheap Day Return fares in Greater Manchester will increase by up to 50p, or up to 9.25%, taking the maximum fare to £5.90.
The announcement also includes new fares, which are only available to buy from the Northern mobile phone app or website, with fulfilment via m-ticket. RMT says that this is the clearest possible recognition of the complete lack of infrastructure, such as ticket offices or even ticket machines, which the union believes will lead to further attacks on the jobs and conditions of on-train staff.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“This weekends latest fares rip off is just another example of industry costs being shifted to the passenger, whilst the profits made continue to be leaked away from Britain’s railways and shipped across the Channel.
“Northern should be forced to pull back from their twin strategy of axing guards and raising fares in the dash to fatten up the profits for the German state operator Arriva. This is a scandalous situation that puts the issue of public ownership of our railways right at the top of the agenda. ”