Labour’s rail plan – what we need, rather than what we want?

Mike Sivier's blog

De-railed: After years of reliance on taxpayers' money, it seems the ride may soon by over for some of the UK's rail privateers [Image: PA]. De-railed: After years of reliance on taxpayers’ money, it seems the ride may soon by over for some of the UK’s rail privateers [Image: PA]. The Labour Party seems to have a real problem with offering the public what the public has demanded.

Faced with demand for the railways to be renationalised, they seem set to announce a plan in which private firms compete with a public service for franchises.

The promise of privatisation had been that the new franchise-holders would keep prices down, and any investment should be made by the companies concerned.

In fact, fares and taxpayer investment have rocketed since the railways were privatised by the last full Conservative government in the early 1990s.

It seems that Labour’s plan, which may be announced next week (the party is being very cagey about it), will mean franchises are awarded based on “a pragmatic choice between the state and…

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