The RMT has announced that they have joined forces with passenger groups and politicians to demand that the Government keeps the Northern franchise under public control.
On March 1st, Northern was taken under control of the Government and is now operated by Northern Trains Limited.
However, a Government review into how railways are run could move it back into the private rail sector within weeks.
RMT has today sent a clear message to the Government that the franchise model is ‘broken’ and must be publicly owned from top to bottom.
Do you agree with the RMT that Northern should stay under public control? Let us know in the comments below.
What did the officials say?
Mick Cash, General Secretary of Britain’s largest rail union RMT, said;
“Private speculators have driven Northern Rail to the brink and its return to public ownership, joining the East Coast Main Line, should not be seen as a short term fix whilst we wait to see what scheme this Government comes up with next. This has to be a permanent move followed up with the investment and planning needed to deliver the rail services that passengers deserve after years of privatised chaos. “
Ellen Lees, Campaigns Officer at We Own It said:
“The calamity of Northern Rail is all the evidence you need to see just how disastrous privatisation has been on our railway. They’ve caused misery for passengers and it’s a huge relief that their services will now be in public hands. It’s vital that Northern stays public now, to avoid causing further disruption to passengers.
“But Northern aren’t the only ones. From South Western to West Midlands Trains, franchises are collapsing up and down the country. It’s time to face reality – we’ll only fix out broken railway by bringing it all into public ownership”.
Ellie Harrison, Bring Back British Rail said:
“We need a world-class, fully-integrated public transport network which everyone can afford to use, in order to address the climate emergency and tackle chronic inequalities across our country. Public ownership and control of all elements of the network (rail, bus and more) is vital for delivering this and ensuring passengers always come before profit. With plans for publicly-controlled bus networks in Manchester and Liverpool, a publicly-owned Northern rail is the final part of the puzzle. We cannot allow Northern to be re-privatised.”
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