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Privatised rail 'creaking' as passenger demand surges

SURGING passenger demand is exposing the shambles of rail privatisation, rail union RMT said yesterday.

Acting general secretary Mick Cash said new Office for Rail Regulation figures showing 1.59 billion passenger rail journeys were made in 2013/14 — a 5.7 per cent rise on the previous year — demonstrated that “the creaking infrastructure of Britain’s railways is simply inadequate.”

The rise was even higher in London and the south-east — an increase of 7.3 per cent on last year, meaning almost a third more rail journeys are taking place in the region now than in 2010.

“For years fleet and track investment has been stalled and delayed, leaving passengers paying through the nose to cram onto overcrowded, clapped-out trains.”

Mr Cash pointed out that if the billions syphoned out of the railways by privatisation had been “reinvested in capacity and modernisation instead, we would have a rail network fit to cope.”


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