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13 August 2013, 16:25
Green MP Caroline Lucas has condemned rising rail fares and is asking passengers to sign a petition against the "extremely high cost of tickets''.
Ms Lucas collected signatures outside Brighton Railway Station today and said people in Brighton and Hove were "sick of paying a fortune for train services which aren't good enough''.
The MP, who represents Brighton Pavilion, said: "We have to put up with unreliable services, overcrowding and some of the highest fares in Europe.
"Since the railways were sold off, the cost of train travel has risen by 17%, and in recent years the cost to the taxpayer has more than doubled. Meanwhile, shareholders are generating huge profits.
"Passengers and taxpayers alike are being ripped off. By taking back individual franchises when they expire, or when companies fail to meet their conditions, the Government could save over £1 billion a year every year.
"This is money that could and should be reinvested in services, and also used to reduce fares.''
The petition, published today, asks the House of Commons to urge the Government to ensure rail fares are reduced, to introduce minimum standards for on-train facilities, and to deliver a rail system "designed as a public service rather than one primarily run to generate a profit''.