Friday, 6 March 2009

Reading Greens Rail Protest With Caroline Lucas MEP

A protest at rising train fares was held in Reading Berkshire yesterday.

The Reading Green Party asked passengers at the town's station to sign a petition which will be handed to the station's manager. The petition was written on a shirt, as they are taking the shirts of our backs with these fare increases across the UK in January by an average of more than 6%.

Train firms say more money will allow greater investment while the government said it had already committed £15bn to support the railways.

Dr Caroline Lucas, Berkshire Green MEP, said: "The government admits it will cost £500m per year to bring commuter fares in line with the rest of Europe, but its spending on road maintenance and widening is currently three times this amount.

"Can the government really say it is committed to encouraging people to switch from cars to public transport?" The Department for Transport said the government has committed £15bn to support the railways in the next five years - including a £10bn investment to increase capacity.

The Association of Train Operating Companies blamed the rises partly because taxpayer funding was being reduced.

This protest had had coverage in todays Reading Post.
A mention in the weekly Reading Chronicle 'South East Green Euro-MP and party leader Caroline Lucas will join Green Party members outside Reading Station today (Thursday) to protest against high fares'
BBC News
local radio Reading 107FM
USA today!