Newbury Greens have slammed the McNulty review as potentially disastrous for Newbury's commuters and has suggested that Newbury and Thatcham area does not need fare increases and less station staff, but more investment and more regular trains to and from London and the West Country.
Adrian Hollister, Newbury Green Party said, "Roy McNulty perceives his 'value for money' report only in terms of immediate cost and not value for the community, our society or longer term value for the country.
“Newbury area train stations have seen a gradual reduction in quality of service provided to the communities they serve. Ever decreasing quality of station services will only go to show how detached McNulty is from the consumer.
“A clear example of this are the plans to remove station staff at our busiest stations. We cannot rely upon the current train information systems as they are most often out of date; and we cannot rely upon ticket machines to help us with the cheapest fare nor answer the question 'so which platform is that?', let alone 'can you help me with my bag?'.
“Twitter and iPhone app's are a much more reliable source of 'where the train has got to?' than First Great Westerns on station automated signs. Thinking that these systems and automated ticket machines can replace friendly station staff, is just not true.
“The icing on the McNulty cake is that to deliver less in a less convenient way he is suggesting that we increasing fares! For our commuters will be a real slap in the face and is completely contrary to the aim of reducing prices and encouraging lower carbon and sustainable travel models. Fares from Newbury to London are already ridiculous, they need to be reduced not increased. The way to reduce prices and ensure financial viability is to get more passengers by getting people out of cars and on to trains. We can only do this by making trains more appealing, more reliable and travelling to the place where people need to go.
"Privatisation has brought nothing but increasing costs to this country, however we should expect nothing less of Lib Dems and Conservatives who are wedded to the principle of putting markets before people."