Thursday, September 11, 2008

RMT slams Boris' big fare rise

INFLATION-BUSTING fare increases are a short-sighted fix that will create more problems than they solve, London Underground’s biggest union said last Monday.
As London Mayor Boris Johnson announced increases at one per cent ahead of inflation, RMT called for an end to the colossal waste of public money still being poured into private pockets under the part-privatisation of the Tube’s infrastructure.
“If the mayor needs extra cash for the London transport network he should be looking at ways to end the shocking waste still caused by the PPP, not squeezing passengers even more with inflation-busting fares hikes,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said. “Metronet’s catastrophic failure has already cost the public £2 billion and has cast a shadow over the upgrades the network desperately needs by 2012.
“But even if Metronet hadn’t collapsed the PPP would still be haemorrhaging huge sums out of the network because it is an expensive scam designed to convert public cash into private profit.
“The truth is that Tube Lines, like Metronet, is massively underwritten by the public, and the time to end the PPP is now, rather than waiting for another financial calamity,” Bob Crow said.
Inflation-busting fares hikes not the way for the capital, says RMT.
Johnson announced rises of 10 per cent in bus and Tube fares last week to be introduced in January. He blamed rising fuel costs after he cancelled the agreement made by his predecessor Ken Livingstone that would have supplied London buses with discount Venezuelan oil. He also cancelled the planned rise in congestion charges for bigger, heavier polluting private cars and the extension of the congestion charge to west London.

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