Rupert Read on Green Party transport policy

rupert_read08:23 Monday 2nd March 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: A new private company has taken over the running of the East Coast Mainline. It of course goes through Peterborough. The route has been in public hands since 2009, but yesterday Virgin Trains took over the running of it. Our reporter Tom Horn has been there this morning, and he’s spoken to a few passengers.
PASSENGER ONE: I think the Government did a good job running it. Hopefully Virgin won’t put the prices up, run it as well as the Government did.
TOM HORN: What are the priorities for Virgin as far as you’re concerned?
PASSENGER ONE: Ideally it’s more services if possible, more seats. It’s always hard to get a seat in the rush hour from Peterborough to London.
TOM HORN: Overall you think Virgin has a relatively decent name of train travel elsewhere?
PASSENGER ONE: I do actually. I think they have a good name. I believe they also can be quite expensive. So I’m hoping they don’t change the prices much.
PASSENGER TWO: As long as the price stays the same and the service stays the same that’s fine. I was happy with it in public ownership before, and I believe it should have stayed that way personally. But there you go. The fact that it was owned by the public was good I think, because it should be a public service.
TOM HORN: Priorities for Virgin hopefully then?
PASSENGER TWO: Good service, be on time and don’t hike the prices to pay your shareholders. That’s my view.
PASSENGER THREE: Be nice to have a good commercial operation that tries to put the customers first rather than the staff, which I think East Coast was a bit about.
TOM HORN: What were your thoughts on the Government-run side of things for the last few years?
PASSENGER THREE: It was a bit like the old days of British Rail, staff looking after themselves, customers are irrelevant. Looking forward to Virgin. Should be a lot better.
TOM HORN: Priorities for Virgin you’d like to see?
PASSENGER THREE: On time and cheaper ideally. But on time first.
PASSENGER FOUR: Well I’ve been on Virgin before. I think they’ve .. I haven’t had no complaints about them. probably have to give it a few months and see what it’s like, and then complain at you later.
TOM HORN: What are the priorities for Virgin as far as you’re concerned?
PASSENGER FOUR: Mainly keeping them on time. If they’re going to promise you a train to come, you want it to be here don’t you really?
TOM HORN: You think it’s the right decision to put it back into private ownership? Because it was a decent job the Government did, running it as East Coast.
PASSENGER FOUR: I can’t see why it’s gone back private. As long as they don’t keep upping the fares for profit. That’s the main thing, isn’t it?
DOTTY MCLEOD: Well with me now is Rupert Read who is the Transport Spokesperson for the Green Party. Also happens to be their candidate for Cambridge at the upcoming General Election. Morning Rupert.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Thanks for coming in. Your party has advocated renationalising the railway system. You’re hearing those people there who don’t really care who runs the trains, as long as they are on time and the fares don’t go up. Why does it matter to you?
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East Coast Trains – petition calls for continued public ownership

east-coast-train07:20 Tuesday 28th October 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: The future of the East Coast Main Line is going to be discussed in the House of Lords today. A petition has been created asking for the line to remain in public hands, and not to be run by a private company. Over the past ten years the line has been passed around between private and public hands like a hot potato. Currently run by a public group, but the Government will soon announce which private company will take over the line. So which would be better for us, for us who actually ride on the trains, staying public or going back to private? Joining me now is Phil Haigh. He’s a railway journalist who has covered this story for many years. Phil, this old chestnut again. Remind us of the history of East Coast Main Line.
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Linda McCord from Passenger Focus comments on disruption on the East Coast rail line over the Bank Holiday weekend

east_coast17:18 Tuesday 26th August 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[C]HRIS MANN: A difficult twenty four hours for rail users across Cambridgeshire; that’s probably an understatement for many. Overhead wire problems between Peterborough and Stevenage caused huge problems on the East Coast MainLine overnight on Monday and into this morning, some delays two hours long. .. Linda McCord is from the campaign group Passenger Focus. She gave me her reaction a little earlier.
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Green Petition on East Coast Mainline Calls for Public Ownership

train07:17 Friday 18th October 2013
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[P]AUL STAINTON: A 23,000 signature petition will be handed in to the Department of Transport today calling for the East Coast Mainline to remain in public ownership. The line passes through the East of the region with a stop at Peterborough of course, as it links London and East Anglia with the North East and Scotland. It also goes through Huntingdon of course. Our reporter Johnny D. is in Peterborough this morning, overlooking the line. How is it for you?
JOHN DEVINE: Well, I’ll tell you what Paul, it’s a misty murky old morning in central Peterborough here. I had hoped to tell you what was going on on the platform a couple of hundred yards down the line, but I can’t see the platform, because it’s so foggy here. I’ve got Fiona Radic with me from the Green Party. Now why do you think it’s so important that this remains in public ownership Fiona?
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Another Large Fare Rise Prompts Calls For The Re-Nationalisation of Rail

british_rail17:07 Tuesday 13th August 2013
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[R]ONNIE BARBOUR: Rail passengers will see an average fare increase of 4.1% from next January. It’s based on the inflation figure for July which stands at 3.1%. This rise applies to season tickets and off-peak InterCity fares. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says the increases will help pay for major improvements. (TAPE)
PATRICK MCLOUGHLIN: What we’re seeing at the moment is huge investment in our rail network. It’s needed investment. It’s vital that it takes place. We’ve also announced further investment to go on to upgrade a lot of our railway lines for electrification, which makes it cheaper to operate. (LIVE)
RONNIE BARBOUR: Some of the busiest routes could see a rise as high as 9%. That’s because train companies are able to set fares at up to 5% above the Government’s regulated increase for some lines. Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle says regular commuters will be the worst hit. (TAPE)
MARIA EAGLE: I think that David Cameron and the Government are out of touch if they think that it’s OK to keep piling this misery on commuters whose incomes are stagnating or going down. (LIVE)
RONNIE BARBOUR: Campaign groups have said it could put people off using trains altogether, as people’s levels of satisfaction is already low. The train companies say they need to increase fares in order to deliver service improvements, and that is good value for money. Thomas Ableman from Chiltern Railways. (TAPE)
THOMAS ABLEMAN: The average season ticket on Chiltern Railways costs £3000. And I can fully understand why that seems a huge sum for the passenger to spend in one transaction. However, each season ticket holder then goes on to make sixteen thousand miles worth of travel with that season ticket. Now if you tried to make sixteen thousand miles worth of travel by car, you could never afford to do it for £3000. (LIVE)
RONNIE BARBOUR: This morning members of the TUC were handing out postcards to passengers at Peterborough Station. Jill Murdoch is a rail worker and an active union member. She was there this morning. Jill, good evening to you.
JILL MURDOCH: Good evening.
RONNIE BARBOUR: What was on the postcards? Continue reading “Another Large Fare Rise Prompts Calls For The Re-Nationalisation of Rail”

Stewart Jackson on the Peterborough Station Revamp

17:10 Friday 14th January 2010 BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

ANDY BURROWS: It’s emerged today that Peterborough Railway Station is to undergo a £2.5 million redevelopment. The scheme is being funded by the train operator East Coast, alongside Network Rail. The station has long been criticised for perhaps looking a little bit shabby, and giving a rather unwelcoming impression to anyone visiting the city for the first time. Let’s speak to Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson. Evening to you Mr. Jackson.
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Revamp for Peterborough Station

Flying Scotsman13:00 Friday 14th January 2011 BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

GOVINDA GILL: Peterborough Station is to get a £2.5 million redevelopment. The money will come from a scheme being funded by train operator East Coast, and Network Rail. The station will be transformed with a new front, and travellers will also have better access to information and assistance.

“A Vibrant Gateway”

“automatic ticket gating to improve security and revenue protection”.

Peterborough News 22nd December 2010

A summary of the Peterborough Breakfast Show from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire broadcast from 06:00 to 09:00 on Wednesday 22nd December 2010.

Personally affected by yesterday’s problems on the East Coast Mainline, Stewart Jackson MP attacks poor passenger communications.
A fire in a house in Taverners Road on Monday evening could well be arson.
Farmers are struggling to lift their crops with the ground frozen up. Sprouts are affected.
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