22 January 2020
Our railway is falling apart. Franchises across the country are collapsing. If you’ve taken a train in the last two years, you’ve no doubt experienced endless delays, cancellations and chaos.
Northern, Transpennine, South Western, and the West Midlands’ franchises are all on the cusp of collapse. From all sides, people are calling for public ownership to end the chaos. Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary is already considering bringing Northern and South Western Railway into public ownership, to join the East Coast Line. If these franchises are brought into public ownership, that would be a significant chunk of the UK’s rail network taken out of the hands of the disgraced private rail companies.
Not content with just causing chaos on the railways, Stagecoach is now taking the Department for Transport to court. They’ve been banned from franchise competitions for not following the rules around pensions - but they think they are entitled to profit from OUR public services anyway.
Once again, private companies want to walk away with all of the profit and none of the risk. Once again, they want to leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces.
It’s time we got rid of these chancers, and took control of our vital rail infrastructure. Public ownership is the only way to create a joined up railway that works for passengers and the public, not for profit.
Now's the best chance we've ever had to take back our railway. The government's review into the railways - led by Keith Williams - will soon publish its findings. Keith Williams needs to hear loud and clear that the call for public ownership is stronger now than ever. And with Grant Shapps on the verge of ending franchises, let's show him that the public want the whole railway in public hands!
This is our chance to take our railway back from the privateers, and show that the public sector can run a more efficient and effective rail network.