date: 3 January 2013
embargo: 0100hrs Friday 4 January 2013
Commenting on the Rail 2020 report published today (Friday) by the Transport Select Committee, TUC General Secretary and Chair of the Action for Rail campaign Frances O'Grady said:
'We agree that more transparency is needed when it comes to rail industry funding. Our own research shows that the train companies received over £2.5bn in taxpayer subsidies last year.
'Yet the train travelling public - which has been hit hard this week with the New Year hike in fares - would understandably like to know where every penny of taxpayer subsidy is going.
'Regular railway users who find themselves paying much more for substantially less will wonder how much of taxpayers' money is going into the profits of the train companies - many of whom would struggle to run a service without a government subsidy.
'MPs on the Committee also share union concerns that proposals to find savings through the de-staffing of trains and stations could make the railways less safe, especially for women and vulnerable passengers.
'Any changes to staffing should improve the passenger experience, not make it worse. And we know from repeated surveys that passengers want a visible staff presence on trains and stations.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews
Issued: 4 January, 2013