Green Party proposes to cut rail and bus fares by slashing roads budget

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Green Party leadership announces plans to cut rail and bus fares by an average of 10 per cent.

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As Labour and the Conservatives yesterday clashed over their respective green spending plans, the Green Party kicked off election year with a pledge to cut rail and bus fares across the country by 10 per cent.

The Party, which enjoyed a surge in support last year and is harbouring hopes of a significant breakthrough at this year’s election, said it would increase public investment in public transport fares by £1.8bn. It added that it would fund the move, which would cost £9bn over the course of the parliament, by scrapping the bulk of the government’s £15bn road building programme.

Announcing the move at a protest by commuter groups at King’s Cross station, Green Party Leader said the policy again underlined the way in which the party offered an alternative to the three mainstream parties. She also stressed that the move would help hard-pressed commuters on a day when annual rail fares once again rose by more than average wage increases.

“The privatisation of the railways has been a huge disservice to passengers – driving up prices while creating a race to the bottom in service provision,” she said. “It’s left us with a rail network that is fragmented, costly, understaffed, and under-invested – and the public are shouldering the financial burden.

“This investment of £1.8bn would offer an enormous help to Britons to as they travel between communities, to work, to meet up with friends and relatives, and would help us relieve the national reliance on carbon-intensive forms of transport. The £9bn investment would be paid for by scrapping most of this government’s indefensible £15bn road-building programme, leaving £6 billion for further transport programmes.”

The announcement comes just days after a New Year message in which Bennett predicted the Greens were on the verge of a breakthrough, noting that the party’s membership has grown 120 per cent in the past year and it recently recorded 10 per cent support in an election poll for the first time.

“With our politics, our economics, our society, our environment in its current state, one thing is clear. The status quo is not an option: we are in a profoundly unstable condition – with our financial sector debt at 1,700 per cent of annual GDP, with 22 per cent of workers on less than a living wage, with our seas a plastic soup and our global wildlife numbers halved,” she said. “We can create a peaceful revolution in 2015. If the same proportion of under-25s vote as the over 60s, if voters chose to vote for the person, party or policies they most believe in, then this can be a transformatory election.”

Source – Business Green

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