Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why we can't afford a privatised railway



This article of mine appears over at The Huffington Post.(UK edition)

David Cameron has hailed it as the "biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era". But we really shouldn't get too carried away about the government's £9.4bn programme of investment in the railways announced today, or believe it will do much to alleviate our transport problems. For a start, building work on the projects will not start until 2014 at the earliest. And even when the modernisation does get going, the basic problem of our railways will remain: namely that they are run for private profit and not as a public service. For that we have to blame a certain Mr John Major.

You can read the whole article here.

2 comments:

David Lindsay said...

In defiance of their own history until recent decades, the Conservatives cannot will the means. We need to renationalise the railways, uniquely without compensation in view of the manner of their privatisation, as the basis for a national network of public transport free at the point of use, including the reversal of bus route and rail line closures going back to the 1950s.

And those trains need to be run on electricity, produced domestically and not least from our vast reserves of coal, rather than on oil, imported, and that from unsavoury and unstable petrostates in the Gulf and elsewhere.

Only public ownership can deliver this. Public ownership is of course British ownership, and thus a safeguard of national sovereignty. It is also a safeguard of the Union in that it creates communities of interest across the several parts of the United Kingdom. Publicly owned concerns often even had, and could have again, the word "British" in their names.

Ed Miliband and Jon Cruddas, since you have made so very welcome a start, over to you.

Neil Clark said...

Hi David,
very good post- agreed.