2 January 2019
As the annual rail fare increase comes into force, Yorkshire & the Humber Green Party are calling for passengers to “make rail companies pay” for unreliable rail service.
In 2019, rail users will be paying more than ever before for unreliable services on trains that are not fit for purpose. This comes after months of severe disruption brought about by the catastrophic May timetable change and weekly strikes by RMT staff on Northern Trains.
This morning, Green Party campaigners across the region will be speaking to rail users across Yorkshire making sure rail passengers are using the “Delay Repay” compensation scheme to “‘make the rail companies pay”.
Cllr Kevin Warnes, one of the Green Councillors in Bradford District and a rail commuter has said “Opinion poll after opinion poll has shown that the British public know that railway network isn’t fit for purpose and something urgently needs to happen.
“But that doesn’t help rail users here in Yorkshire when they are stood on the platform waiting for a late – or worse still cancelled - train. There feels like there is little we can do except wait – or if you can, ditch the train altogether.
“Rail users must make the rail companies pay for their incompetence – literally. The Delay Repay scheme lets passengers claim compensation for late running service.
“Yes, the compensation doesn’t make up for being late for work, or missing an important meeting but it is only right that we are fully compensated for a service that does not get to the destination on time. The more it costs the companies who are being paid to run these inadequate services, the quicker they will act.”
Former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who has been at Sheffield Railway Station this morning has said “Many of our cities here in Yorkshire are some of the most congested and polluted in Western Europe.
“We all know that the current system has failed, but we need to take a step back and look at how rail fits in with our transport policy as a whole. We must prioritise clean and cheap public transport that mean people can get around without having to rely on cars.
“The Green Party is calling for sweeping changes to transport policy including ending the expensive franchising system and instead co-ordinating national train services under a single government-run organisation where profits are reinvested back into the network – as happens across most of Europe.
“We also want to see better co-ordination of public transport and a significant increase in investment to reduce pressure on our congested roads and offer a real alternative to car travel.
"Having just been at the UN climate talks in Katowice, I saw first-hand just how behind our trains are those on the Continent. German trains have large, comfortable seats, with space to stretch out and toilets that don't smell. I saw Polish trains with ample cycle provision, and a Czech Pendolino with a dedicated children's space with carpeted seating and big screen TV for cartoons."