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Cutting fares and bringing our railways back into public hands

As railway ticket prices rise yet again Green Party Co-Chair Tom Chance speaks out against the way the network is run "purely for the benefit of private corporations", explaining how the Green Party would cut fares by up to 12% and work to bring the railway back under public ownership.

• New Green Party policy would save rail passengers hundreds of pounds every year

• Zone 1-4 London Travelcard users would benefit from savings of nearly £200 per year

• Green Party is the only party pledging to bring the railways back into public hands

As passengers are hit by yet another New Year's price hike, the Green Party has announced that it would introduce an immediate cut in the cost of rail fares of up to 12%.

Ticket prices across the network will increase by an average of 2.2% this New Year. The planned rise is above the level of inflation and follows successive years of ticket price increases. The cost of rail travel is now increasing at three times the rate of average wages, leaving many passengers out of pocket.

Green party railway passengers

Arguing that action is urgently needed to ease the financial burden being placed on public transport users in Britain, the Green Party has said it would introduce an immediate cut in rail and bus fares by increasing the investment in public transport paid for by the government by £1.7bn per year.

Under the plans announced today, the Green Party would cut the cost of an annual Zone 1-4 London Travelcard by £184 and reduce the cost of a Zone 1-2 tube ticket from £2.80 to £2.60. Passengers traveling between Crystal Palace and London Bridge – one of the capital’s busiest routes – would benefit from savings of up to £115 per year.

London Green Party Co-Chair and parliamentary candidate for Lewisham West and Penge Tom Chance said:

“The way the rail network is being run purely for the benefit of private corporations clearly isn’t delivering for the public. Just as with rocketing house prices and escalating food bills, passengers feel like they’re being made to climb a mountain that seems to go on for ever whilst being loaded up with more baggage with every step they take.

“Rather than continuing with business-as-usual and allowing ticket prices to escalate, the Green Party is committed to developing solutions that will make rail travel affordable for everyone. Our first act would be to increase investment in our railways – a step our government could take today to give passengers a much needed financial break. We would then work to bring the entire network back into public hands, making sure that it delivers a quality and affordable service to passengers.”

In demonstration against the planned ticket rise, a national protest is today taking place across the railway network calling for the railways to be brought back into public hands. The “Public Ownership of Railways Protest” will take place from 07:00 to 19:00 at stations across the country with demonstrations in London organised for King’s Cross, St. Pancras, and Waterloo stations. To coincide with the demonstrations, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas will also be presenting her Private Members Bill calling for the railways to be brought back into public ownership to parliament.