The cost of public transport is starting to shoot up. I wonder: how many people are aware that the budget for the transformation of bus and rail transport has been cut to just £1.4bn?
Rail fares are set to go up by four per cent in March – another massive increase coupled with cuts to services. Bus fares are also set to rise and a reduction in service, not just in the Fareham and Gosport area, but nationally, is leading people back to the old ways of travel, driving an increase in pollution.
The Prime Minister announced last year that £3bn would be made available towards creating ‘London standards’ as part of the Government’s ‘back to bus and rail’ promotion. So far, all we are seeing is a lack of involvement by private operators, who all blame the lack of operatives to run their inept transport systems.
There is an urgent need for the renationalisation of public transport for the health of this country. It must be run on a regional, city model, controlled by local people who know the area they live in.
Having ridden in the German region of Hamburg Elbe, ‘Transport Action for Fareham and Gosport’ found it far more efficient service, with lots of people utilising the different modes of transportation – all reasonably priced. We must look again at the price increases we are seeing, alongside the lack of investment in the transport system. Why are these companies being allowed to make travel so expensive, yet, at the same time, cut our services?
We have to ask: what action is the Government taking to address these price increases and service cuts? They talk of saving jobs but if people can’t afford to go to work, employers of all sizes will start to go under, if they have not already.
Our country is running into difficulty through the ineptitude of our Government and the way they are taking us headfirst into a major economic crisis – the cost of living is about to explode if we don’t do something about it.
Isn’t it time we did something different?
We need a national campaign of action, not just focused on public transport and the price hike in April, but also to work for a system controlled and run by local people. The Green Party has always been in favour of electoral action, but we believe that, sometimes, a different approach is necessary. Now is the time for action.