Brighton locals have expressed their outrage at the Prime Minister’s defence inflation busting increases in train fares.
Over the weekend Theresa May claimed that rises in regulated fares were justified due to the need for investment into the country’s railways.
This means that Sussex rail passengers, who saw their tickets prices increase by around 3.5% on January 2, and who will be faced with a further strike on Southern services today, are the ones who have been designated to bear the brunt of a chronic and systematic programme of mismanagment and underfunding into rail infrastructure over the last decade.
An annual season ticket from Brighton to London St Pancras, Blackfriars or City Thameslink rose from £3,832.00 to £3,968.00 on January 2 and Hove MP Peter Kyle blamed the government for the “insulting” rise to prices.
Speaking to BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show Sunday, Mrs May said: “Since privatisation, usage of the railways has doubled and we have seen the biggest investments since Victorian times in our railways.
“A lot of people rely on our railways, we want to see good service on our railways but that does mean that investment is needed.”
Many disgruntled Brightonians took to social media and local news message boards to express their confusion, frustration, and in some cases outrage, at her remarks and the way in which the government have treated commuters in the region who depend of the rail service on a daily basis:
“I understand she gets driven everywhere at in a fancy car with an escort all at our expense, but you’d think the least she could do would be to not insult us.
“With the (Brexit related) fall in the pound causing inflation to rise and a pay freeze for many, prices are rising too rapidly – especially if you take into account the service. GTR don’t have to worry about customer satisfaction given that failing Grayling pays them regardless such is the southern contract.”
Another commuter added: “I think we all know that it is completely unjustified. Get this government out of power as soon as we can.”
Over the next few weeks commuters can again expect to be affected by industrial strike action as conductors from the RMT Union take a stand in response to Southern’s plan to remove conductors from trains.
Southern said that most services will operate normally. In a statement on their website Southern said: “The full Gatwick Express and Thameslink service is expected to operate on all routes.”