Profits over service for London Overground

Profits over service for London Overground

16 December 2019

RMT Press Office:

Analysis by RMT reveals that the German state-owned operator of London Overground paid out more than £4 million to shareholders last year while axing ticket offices.

Detailed analysis by rail union RMT of the latest accounts for Arriva Rail London, the German state-owned company which operates London Overground and which is planning the wholesale butchery of ticket offices, reveal that the company more than doubled its profits last year, to £9.5 million. In the same period, it paid out a massive £4.5 million in dividends to shareholders.

RMT says that with the boardroom awash with cash it is nothing short of a scandal that Arriva are planning to rip apart passenger services at station level in a drive for even fatter profits.

Overall, the company’s income, which mainly comes via a concession payment from the publicly funded TfL, increased by £25 million.
Despite already making millions in profit, the company is further attempting to drain money out of London Overground by closing ticket offices, cutting ticket office hours to the bare minimum, and failing to permanently fill the hundreds of vacancies that exist across the network, risking passenger safety, security and accessibility.

RMT says it is clear from these figures that the company cares much more about profit than London Overground passengers.

Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary said:

“It is a disgrace that the private operator of London Overground is paying out millions in dividends to shareholders, while being in receipt of a large publicly funded concession payment. This is just more evidence of the failure of our privatised railways.

"It is nothing short of a scandal that Arriva Rail London is continuing to force through ticket office closures and cuts, which will disadvantage passengers, to extract as much profit from London Overground as possible.

"Once again, I am calling on the Mayor of London to intervene and halt these damaging cuts and closures to ticket offices. A failure to take action is an insult to London Overground passengers.

'Our rail services should be run as a universal public service, not as a money-making machine.”

Ends


Notes for editors



2018
2019
Difference
%

Turnover
189,200,000
214,200,000
25,000,000
13.2

This income is predominantly from TfL by way of a fixed concession payment.

Profit before tax
4,600,000
9,500,000
4,900,000
106.5

Net assets
27,600,000
30,600,000
3,000,000
10.87

Dividend
0
4,500,000
4,500,000

Highest paid director
180,000
219,000
39,000
21.7


Source: Arriva Rail London accounts, Companies House

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