Privatisation isn’t just about who runs a service, it’s about who services are accountable to. It’s about who shares the rewards, about protecting the workforce and getting a good deal for local people who use the services. Guardian Saturday 6 February 2016.
Bring Rail Fares Down!
If Labour wins the next General Election, one of Jeremy Corbyn’s first pieces of legislation will be to renationalise the railways. The intention is to accomplish this in a piecemeal fashion by bringing rail franchises into public ownership as they expire, which many will during the early 2020s. The operators would be able to make money from fares, thus keeping costs down. Labour also plans to create transport bodies to ensure integration of the transport network (including buses and cycles), with rail services. This would be similar to the Transport for London model.
Britain’s railways were nationalised in 1948 by the then Labour Government and were privatised under John Major’s Conservative government in 1993. Jeremy Corbyn has promised that Labour will be making it clear that we stand up for public ownership and accountability.
A major benefit of renationalisation will be cost. Services in the UK are the most expensive in Europe. Nationalisation would ensure that decisions are made in the interests of the people rather than for profit. Labour stresses the importance for institutions to be answerable for their actions.
A poll by Survation 2014, showed two thirds of voters support renationalisation. Corbyn recently told the Independent on Sunday
We know there is overwhelming support from the British people for a People’s Railway, better and more efficient services, proper integration and fairer fares. On this issue, it won’t work to have a nearly-but-not-quite position. Labour will commit to a clear plan for a fully integrated railway in public ownership.