Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan, local councillors and Labour campaigners were out in force this morning at Fratton station to hear views as many commuters returned to work and their daily travel after the festive season.
Campaigners were talking with commuters about increasing fares yet increasingly overcrowded rail services and Labour’s plan for a better deal for our rail.
Last year saw cancelled or significantly late services at their highest level in 17 years.
Labour has released analysis of overcrowded rail services, which reveals that:
* Overcrowding on our railways is at one of the highest levels since records began.
* The top 10 most overcrowded peak train routes are on average 187 per cent in excess of capacity; an increase of over 25 per cent since 2011.
* The most overcrowded route in 2016 was the 07:16 Southern service from East Grinstead to London Bridge. The service had nearly double (191 per cent) the number of passengers on the train as the service is designed to be able to carry.
* The top 10 most overcrowded peak train routes will be an average of over 207 per cent in excess of capacity by the end of the parliament.
Following talking with commuters and campaigners today, city MP Stephen Morgan said:
“The Government’s shambolic mismanagement of our railways has been a national embarrassment.
Prices are rising, performance is in decline, promised investment has been scrapped and industrial relations have worsened.
Government rail policy has not delivered affordable fares, decent services or value for money for taxpayers we need to see here in Portsmouth, meaning our city’s commuters suffer”.
Labour want to see the entire network to be brought back into public ownership, so that the railways are run in the interests of passengers and taxpayers not private profit.
Mr Morgan added:
“Passengers, our economy and our environment need affordable fares and reliable services, which Tory policy is failing to deliver.
Labour would take our railway back into public ownership as franchises expire, using savings to cap fares, and would upgrade and expand the rail network”.
Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said:
“Under the Tories, fares have risen three times faster than average wages and severe disruption has blighted the network meaning services are often delayed or cancelled.
It’s outrageous that passengers are being hit with yet another above-inflation fares rise following such a miserable year on the railway. Making passengers pay more to travel on increasingly overcrowded trains is simply not sustainable.
The Government’s blind obsession with privatisation is putting the future of the railway at risk”.