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Emily Thornberry: ‘Rail fare increases will bite my constituents – it’s time to take railways back’

PUBLISHED: 13:29 04 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:34 04 January 2017

Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry protests against rail fare increases outside King's Cross station. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry protests against rail fare increases outside King's Cross station. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

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People in Islington are “far more likely” to be affected by the latest increase in rail fares, according to MP Emily Thornberry.

Members of the Fair Fares Now campaign group, with Cllr Caroline Russell pictured centre, sing their protest against rail fare increases outside King's Cross station. Picture: John Stillwell/PA WireMembers of the Fair Fares Now campaign group, with Cllr Caroline Russell pictured centre, sing their protest against rail fare increases outside King's Cross station. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

As commuters returned to work yesterday morning, the Islington South and Finbsury MP could be seen protesting against the annual price rise – this year of an average 2.3 per cent – outside King’s Cross station.

The Labour MP said fares have risen by an overall 27pc since the Conservatives came into power in 2010.

And, like her Islington North colleague and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, she called for the railways to be taken back into public ownership.

Mrs Thornberry told the Gazette: “My constituents are far less likely to be commuting out of London. They are more likely to have to buy a ticket at the last minute – to attend a meeting called at short notice, for example.

“It is these one-off tickets that are purchased on the day, as opposed to those bought cheaper in advance, where the fare increases really bite.”

She added: “This has been going on for some time and I think the vast majority of the public agrees that the railways need to be taken back into public ownership.

“They are not being managed properly and it’s wrong for these companies to be making such profits by raising fares. People are very angry.”

Highbury East Green Cllr Caroline Russell, Islington’s sole opposition member, was also protesting outside the station with the Campaign for Better Transport. They were singing an anti-price rise song to the tune of “Ode to Joy”.

And Cllr Russell, also a London Assembly member, said: “Yet again, fares are going up – but wages are not. It’s utterly unfair.

“The government is quite happy to subsidise roads, but when it comes to rail, they expect passengers to front up the costs. If motorists were subjected to this, there would be absolute uproar.”


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