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All aboard the gravy train


Rail users face price increases of between 4 and 11.1 per cent as the rail companies hike prices – while passenger satisfaction with the rail companies' performance is at its lowest since 2005.

Rail users
Photo: Workers

The four major companies involved in passenger services produced the following profit returns: Stagecoach £72.3 million, chief executive's pay £1.04 million; Go-Ahead £66.1 million, chief executive's pay £964,000; National Express £49.9 million, chief executive's pay £864,000; First Group £108.8 million, chief executive's pay £745,000.

The worst performing rail company First Great Western (part of the First Group) which only managed to get 66 per cent of its trains to run on time even with a host of getouts and loopholes, added a performance bonus of £254,000 to the Chief Executive's £754,000. The Chief Executive of Network Rail received £888,000 and his deputy £809,000, despite the failure and chaos of failed planned engineering work over Christmas.

Average chief executives' wage increases were in the region of 13 per cent. The need for public ownership, accountability and efficiency in the rail industry cries out against the profits and rewards paid to failures.