Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Reading Trades Union Council and the Labour Party protest Rail Fare Increases

Billie Reynolds (fourth left), John Partington (seventh left) and James Parker
(ninth left) of RTUC join Labour Party comrades at Reading Railway Station
On 3 January 2017, the day rail fares in Britain went up by an average of 2.3%, the Reading Trades Union Council and the Reading & District Labour Party stood shoulder to shoulder in protest.

Assembling at both the north and south entrances to Reading Railway Station, activists distributed 2000 leaflets and spoke with regular commuters, occasional rail travellers and even persons who rarely or never used the train.

The hottest topics were the year-on-year fare increases (up 27% since 2010), government subsidies for private rail firms and the extraction of profit from the railways while fare-payers and taxpayers foot the bill.

Despite the near freezing temperature, the public were willing to share their real sense of anger – and the mood of protest in the air suggests that 2017 will be a year when the government will have to rethink some of its attacks on public services and squeezes on hard-hit taxpayers and fare-payers.