The Labour Party has re-confirmed its commitment to bringing railways back into public ownership.
In its General Election manifesto, published on November 21, Labour says it will use options including franchising expiry to bring train operations back into public hands (infrastructure manager Network Rail was reclassified as a public sector body in 2014). It argues this would enable it to make fares simpler and more affordable.
Labour says such measures would “rebuild the fragmented railways as a nationally integrated public service, cut the wastage of private profit, improve accessibility for disabled people, ensure safe staffing levels, and end driver-only operation”.
It says a publicly owned rail company will steer network planning and investment, and co-ordinate main line upgrades, resignalling, rolling stock replacement and major projects. A full rolling programme of electrification is promised.
For the FULL story, read RAIL 893, out now.