‘Let rail passengers know we are on their side’, Labour urged
Labour was pressed yesterday to support a call for an inquiry into claims that rail passengers have been “ripped off” by more than £150 million on refund payouts.
Manuel Cortes, leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, urged the party’s conference to support his union’s demand for an immediate probe into the system of compensation payments for delayed trains.
Mr Cortes told the conference that private rail companies received £172m from taxpayer-funded Network Rail last year for late-running trains but paid a fraction of that to passengers.
“We must send a message to all passengers that we are on their side. We want to see an end to them being ripped off, whether it is on refunds or sky-high ticket prices,” he said.
“This coalition has already raised fares by a staggering 18 per cent if January’s 6.2 per cent increase goes ahead as planned.
“Now we have the scandal of private rail firms picking their pockets on refunds as well. They bank over £170m for late- running trains, but the passengers get less than a miserly £10m.
“We want an inquiry to stop this scandal, but we also want to let passengers know we are on their side. They have been ripped off for too long and Labour will stop that happening.”