Rail fare rises provoke political protest outside Watford Junction station

Watford Observer: Labour shadow cabinet office minister, Michael Dugher MP, and the party’s parliamentary candidate Matt Turmaine protesting outside Watford Junction. Labour shadow cabinet office minister, Michael Dugher MP, and the party’s parliamentary candidate Matt Turmaine protesting outside Watford Junction.

The latest round of train fare price hikes has provoked protests and calls to renationalise the rail networks in Watford.

The above inflation rises in the price of a season ticket means commuters now have to pay £2,868 a year, 20 per cent more than in 2010.

On Monday Labour shadow cabinet office minister, Michael Dugher MP, and the party’s parliamentary candidate Matt Turmaine protested outside Watford Junction.

Mr Turmaine, who is also a councillor on Watford Borough Council, said: "The rise in rail fares under this Lib Dem/Tory government is hitting commuters from Watford and Bushey really hard.

"Both parties are out of touch and doing nothing about the cost of living crisis which is affecting everyone."

Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, said: "The rise in rail fares and inaction from government underlines that David Cameron doesn't have answers to Britain's cost-of-living crisis.

"We have heard about 'hard truths' from ministers but the real truth is it's hard times for commuters.

"This out of touch government is letting hard-working families down by focusing on a privileged few."

The Watford Green Party has also responded to the recent rises and called for railway system to revert to public ownership, and Watford Borough Green councillor Ian Brandon lead a protest against the price rise.

In the House of Commons, Green MP Caroline Lucas has a private members bill for full renationalisation, listed for its second reading on February 28.

Councillor Brandon said: "Some people were saying the rise was not as bad as previous years but others said ‘enough is enough’.

Watford Observer:

Green councillor Ian Brandon.

"We can’t keep on going on like this when wages are increasing much slower than rail prices. We want people to contact their local MPs to ask them to back Caroline Lucas’s bill."

She said: "By taking back individual franchises when they expire, or when companies fail to meet their conditions, the Government could save over £1 billion a year every year. This is money that could and should be reinvested in services, and also used to reduce fares."

Comments (4)

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2:41pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Nascot says...

Could the protesters remind me how much the fares went up when THEY were in power and did they promise/deliver re-nationalisation?
Could the protesters remind me how much the fares went up when THEY were in power and did they promise/deliver re-nationalisation? Nascot
  • Score: 9

2:42pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Wooter bout that! says...

They're right – rail fares are a complete rip-off. Unfortunately the hypocrisy here is astonishing. Mr Turmaine and Dugher conveniently gloss over the fact that Labour presided over similarly eye-watering rises during its tenure in government, and did precisely naff all to help commuters.
They're right – rail fares are a complete rip-off. Unfortunately the hypocrisy here is astonishing. Mr Turmaine and Dugher conveniently gloss over the fact that Labour presided over similarly eye-watering rises during its tenure in government, and did precisely naff all to help commuters. Wooter bout that!
  • Score: 19

2:31am Thu 9 Jan 14

John Dowdle says...

Historically, there was a public subsidy component for public transport.
Though I rarely use it, I am perfectly happy to see my taxes applied towards subsidising public transport, just like my taxes contribute towards social healthcare and a national education service.
However, I very much doubt that any political party - other than the Greens - have the courage unequivocally to commit themselves to restoring the public subsidy for public services, including public transport.
I have always believed that socially necessary services - including transport - should be free to use by any member of the public.
Maybe it is time that such ideas were allowed new provenance?
Historically, there was a public subsidy component for public transport. Though I rarely use it, I am perfectly happy to see my taxes applied towards subsidising public transport, just like my taxes contribute towards social healthcare and a national education service. However, I very much doubt that any political party - other than the Greens - have the courage unequivocally to commit themselves to restoring the public subsidy for public services, including public transport. I have always believed that socially necessary services - including transport - should be free to use by any member of the public. Maybe it is time that such ideas were allowed new provenance? John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

8:59am Thu 9 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Wooter bout that! wrote:
They're right – rail fares are a complete rip-off. Unfortunately the hypocrisy here is astonishing. Mr Turmaine and Dugher conveniently gloss over the fact that Labour presided over similarly eye-watering rises during its tenure in government, and did precisely naff all to help commuters.
When in opposition they can muster a mere 7 people to campaign against fare rises.

If they get into power I suspect the same picture would be completely empty of Labour protesters.

The problem is that politicians and political parties often only see the problems and mistakes made by other parties and are blind to the problems and mistakes they themselves make. There must be a better way, mustn't there?

A principle is something that you believe in and work for whether you are in power or not. Is this a principle for the Labour party and our Labour candidate or just cheap point scoring from a position of opposition?

Maybe that's why there are only 7 people supporting this. Everyone else has seen it all before and what's more they no longer believe it. Labour will struggle to make people trust them again after the last government and with the current Leadership team.

UKIP has principles and principled politicians. How refreshing.
[quote][p][bold]Wooter bout that![/bold] wrote: They're right – rail fares are a complete rip-off. Unfortunately the hypocrisy here is astonishing. Mr Turmaine and Dugher conveniently gloss over the fact that Labour presided over similarly eye-watering rises during its tenure in government, and did precisely naff all to help commuters.[/p][/quote]When in opposition they can muster a mere 7 people to campaign against fare rises. If they get into power I suspect the same picture would be completely empty of Labour protesters. The problem is that politicians and political parties often only see the problems and mistakes made by other parties and are blind to the problems and mistakes they themselves make. There must be a better way, mustn't there? A principle is something that you believe in and work for whether you are in power or not. Is this a principle for the Labour party and our Labour candidate or just cheap point scoring from a position of opposition? Maybe that's why there are only 7 people supporting this. Everyone else has seen it all before and what's more they no longer believe it. Labour will struggle to make people trust them again after the last government and with the current Leadership team. UKIP has principles and principled politicians. How refreshing. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -2

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