Donna-Louise Bishop, Reporter
Thursday, January 2, 2014
A group of campaigners protesting over the new year rail fare rises gathered outside Norwich train station this morning.
Rail fares have risen today by an average of 3pc, with a rise of 3.1pc across First Capital Connect and 4pc across the Greater Anglia network.
But members of the Norwich Green Party, who gathered at Norwich train station from 7.30am this morning, said the rise was too steep and have demanded that rail fares be reduced to an affordable level in line with wages.
They also called for public ownership of the railways and cuts to carbon emissions through more rail travel.
It comes before the second reading of a Private Member’s Bill - put forward by Green MP Caroline Lucas - which takes place on February 28, urging that England’s railway system be gradually brought back into public hands.
The bill claims that public ownership of the railways could save the Treasury more than £1bn a year and deliver improved services and lower rail fares for passengers.
Campaigners were also handing out leaflets at this morning’s protest, asking passengers what they thought about the fare increases. They were urged to tell their MP what they thought by visiting www.theyworkforyou.com.
Rupert Read, from the Green Party, said: “The rising price of tickets again outstrips rises in wages. Many travellers will pay more under George Osborne’s flex-system where companies increase some fares while reducing others.
“A joined-up railway network is essential to a truly integrated transport system for the common good, instead of for shareholders with passengers footing the bill.”
The Eastern Region Green Party is also protesting at other major stations across the East Anglia region today including Chelmsford, Colchester, At Albans, Luton, Peterborough, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Bedford.