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If elected Labour pledges to renationalise railways



Labour has pledged they will renationalise the railways it elected “within the first term” as the current model is “broken.”

The Shadow Transport Secretary said that “today’s broken model simply doesn’t work” and a Labour government will transfer the 10 privately run rail networks into public ownership “well within the first term.”

Louise Haigh said at the Trainline headquarters in London the UK should “be proud” of the rail legacy.

She said, “But under the Conservatives, our railways have become a symbol of national decline – of a country that no longer works, and a Government with no plan to fix it.

“Cancellations are at record highs, fares have risen almost twice as fast as wages since 2010, and strikes are costing £25 million a day.”

She added, “We will establish Great British Railways – a single, directing mind to control our railways in the passenger interest.

“Yes, we are keeping the name. I’m afraid I was overruled on calling it Rail Britannia.”

Haigh said that Labour are committed to making rail fares affordable for commuters.

She said, “I can’t today set out that we will lower fares, not least because they are incredibly complex and regulation needs reform as well.

“But we have said that we will simplify them, that we will make them more accessible, more transparent and more trustworthy for passengers.”

Defence Minister James Cartlidge told Sky News, “Privatisation led to a doubling of the number of people using our railways. It has been a significant success story, huge investment from the private sector.

“But as I said, if that investment hadn’t come from the private sector it has to come from somewhere, and it would have to come ultimately from taxpayers.

“I think that is the key question about this policy: How much is it going to cost taxpayers? At the moment it is unfunded.”

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “Labour’s commitment to bring the train operating companies into a new unified and publicly owned rail network is in the best interests of railway workers, passengers and the taxpayer.”

He added: “This announcement however should be a first step to completely integrating all of our railway into public ownership.”

Maryam Eslamdoust, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), said: “Rail nationalisation will improve services, enhance safety, and prioritise the needs of passengers and workers alike.

“By bringing the rail network back into public ownership, we can ensure that profits are reinvested into improving infrastructure, upgrading rolling stock, and enhancing workforce conditions.”

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