make rail companies pay

Councillor Andy D'Agorne with June Tranmer and Rosie Baker before handing out leaflets at York Station

As the annual rail fare increase comes into force, active members
of York 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”.

Green Group leader Cllr Andy D’Agorne has said “Opinion polls[1] have 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 York when they are stood on the
platform waiting for a late – or worse still cancelled – train. It 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 passenger’s
claim compensation
for late running service.

“While the compensation doesn’t make up
for being late for work or an important meeting it is only right that we are
fully compensated for a service that does not get to the destination on time.
Network Rail have to compensate the companies for any track related delays so
it is only right that the customer should claim their rightful share of that
money”

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.”

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