Quality of train services in Britain is falling (ORR)

Thursday, June 13 2013

Long-suffering UK rail commuters are still being given a raw deal despite being crippled by the most expensive train fares in Europe.

UKIP Transport Spokesman Mike Nattrass says urgent action needs to be taken to put British rail services back on the right track following the release of a report by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) which shows the quality of train services in Britain is falling well behind the standard of services offered to passengers travelling on the Continent.

The ORR has told debt-ridden Network Rail to slash almost 2 billion from its spending budget over the next five years and to improve punctuality across the entire network to 92.5 per cent.

Commenting this week, West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass, who is a member of the EU’s Transport & Tourism Committee, said it was deplorable that rail users in Britain were having to put up with second class rail services while every year having to swallow inflation-busting increases to their train fares.

Mr Nattrass said: “The ORR wants to see greater efficiency to drive forward “continued growth” and increase rail capacity over the next five years but it has only been a few weeks since the National Audit Office (NAO) raised serious concerns about HS2 and warned the rail project had an estimated funding gap of 3 billion.

“Our existing rail network is crying out for investment but our blinkered Government is more focused on railroading through a vanity project (HS2) which has a business case based on figures over 10 years old.

“Why should rail users regularly endure standing up in overcrowded carriages? Why should commuters endure late and cancelled trains while being asked to fork out more and more for their train tickets?

“Why doesn’t the Government grasp the real nettle? Billions of pounds could be ploughed into improving our rail network simply by scrapping HS2.”