CAMPAIGNERS are calling for train services to be renationalised.
Members of the Green Party handed out leaflets and chatted to commuters outside Weymouth railway station this morning as part of a national campaign to renationalise the service.
The campaign is part of national fair–fares day of action organised by a wide coalition of groups under the umbrella of Action for Rail.
Today is the day inflation figures are used to calculate the price increase in off-peak and anytime tickets.
A spokesman for South West Trains said that the Government sets the formula for regulated fares which includes season tickets. July's Retail Price Index (RPI) of 2.5%, which was announced yesterday by the ONS, will help to determine season tickets and other regulated fares for 2015.
Train fares are set to rise by the RPI plus 1 percent.
The Green Party is heading the campaign in Weymouth. Parliamentary candidate for South Dorset, Jane Burnet, said: “At the moment fares in the UK are some of the highest in Europe. The rail networks in France and Germany are publically owned. The fares are lower and the services are more efficient.”
Ms Burnet added that trains were essential to the economy of Dorset, bringing tourists to the coasts and giving people of working age flexibility in where they could go to be able to look for work. She added: “As far as south Dorset is concerned. The rail links, especially between here and Bristol are shocking.
“Bristol is one of the main centres in the South West. We should be able to access the Bristol economy a little easier than we can by train.”
Ms Burnet said they were calling on the government to renationalise the railways.
She said: “The private companies’ model of privatisation has had its time. It’s been tried and tested and it’s failed. It’s failed the passenger.”
She added: “We urgently need efficient and affordable rail links.”
It was especially important for areas like Weymouth that workers including young people could access the economies of Bournemouth and Bristol easily, Ms Burnet added.
The response from those commuters they had spoken to had been positive Ms Burnet said.