Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Strike details for the 28th January

Hello peeps

No reason for the picture, except that it's a lovely day and pictures of strikes are a bit dull, so this is a statue called "The Meeting Place" on St Pancras Station. Nice...

On to business.
Here are the details of the upcoming fare strike. The point is not necessarily to try and dodge your fare, but to bring the company's attention to the number of us who are unhappy with the service, so please take part even if, like me, you're already a season ticket holder. Details follow from More Train Less Strain, who are the organisers:

"The stations known to be partcipating are Yate, Yatton, Bath, Oldfield Park, Frome, Oxford and Bristol. Other stations may also partcipate so be prepared to pick up a strike ticket wherever you are.

At each of those stations you can expect to be given a fare strike ticket and explanatory leaflet between around 7:15 and 8:30 am.The leaflet says as follows:

FARE STRIKE DAY 28 01 2008.

Our aim is to demonstrate to First Great Western that their passengers will not tolerate their expensive and unreliable service any more, and that the government must take back the franchise from FGW. To do this you can

1. Show your FARE STRIKE ticket to staff on the train and at the barriers instead of your proper ticket. (It is your decision whether or not you have a proper ticket and you could be breaking the law if you travel without one!)

2. Avoid confrontations with staff, they are on our side!

3. TV and press will be at many stations on the FGW network. Tell them what you think.

4. Send a FARE STRIKE ticket to your local MP and local paper and tell them that the time has come for FGW to go. Email the CEO of FGW and tell him what you think: andrew.haines@firstgroup.com


They look similar in design to a standard ticket. If the barriers to the patform are open we suggest you show this ticket rather than a valid ticket to gain entry to the platform. Once on the platform, we suggest that you show your strike ticket when requested to show a ticket by staff on the train or at the exit barriers.It is up to you whether you travel with a valid ticket in your back pocket. The law states that you should have a valid ticket. It is not our intention to defraud FGW even though some might consider they are generating unreasonable profits from us. Our aim is to generate publicty to highlight at a local and national level the failure of FGW to provide an affordable and dependable service. We anticipate that this in turn will make it harder for the Department of Transport to continue to turn a blind eye to the collapse of FGW's franchise.


There is no party line. That depends on your politics. Some would say take the franchise back into public ownership, others would say hand it to a company who really can run a train service. Whatever you believe it is important that you make your views known to the media who will be out in force on the 28th and to your local MP.Whatever you do, please be polite and respectful of FGW 's long suffering staff.

Regards,The More Train Less Strain Team."


Billyo said...

They're trying to head it off, and are doubling compensation payouts.


The bit about freezing fares is total tripe, given they put fares up on the 1st Jan each year anyway.

JP said...

Whereas I can sympathise with the frustrations about service levels, I must question the logic behind the leaflet's desire for the "government to take back the franchise".

Many of you must be aware - from Insider and other sources - that the government's own Department for Transport has been responsible for a lot of the problems experienced by FGW and other franchises.

Then there's the well documented fact that it's not so much profits as paying off the vast subsidy to the government which is behind the fare increases. Does this subsidy go entirely back in to the railway, or is it used elsewhere, to fund governmental spending in other areas* (in which case it's just more tax)?

Finally there is the current threat of reduced public spending at the next budget.

On this basis, who in their right mind would trust the government to do a better job?

*like Northern Rock ;)

Lee Fletcher said...

Quote from former Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander (Oral Answers To Paliamentary Questions, 30/01/2007) :

"I fear that the hon. Gentleman is labouring under a misapprehension. The premium payments by the franchisees do not go back to the Treasury, but are ring-fenced within the Department for Transport rail budget. It is exactly the kind of premium that he speaks of, as well as the sustained public investment, that accounts for the fact that 4,800 new trains and carriages have been purchased over the past 10 years."

However, as anyone who reads the First Great Western Coffee Shop Forum will know, this doesnt mean I think that the DfT dont share a lot of the blame for the current situation.

Lord Hutton said...

First do alright elsewhere eg Scotland, but FGW is a particularly unfavourable franchise. The Department for London, sorry Transport must bear much of the blame