12 Days Remaining

Tuesday 16th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Our News Desk
CAMPAIGNERS are warning Network Rail today not to privatise its stations and track, handing in a petition signed by 15,000 people against the proposed sell-offs.
Public service campaign We Own It, which earlier this year published a report suggesting the sales of income-generating assets such as railway stations could cost NR £10 billion over 10 years, has organised the petition.
Network Rail chief Mark Carne said in March that the publicly owned company could flog off iconic stations including London Paddington and Birmingham New Street as well as thousands of other properties.
He also suggested selling off the telecoms network and the network’s overhead power lines.
We Own It director Cat Hobbs said passengers were “sick of failing franchises and fragmentation. We need public ownership to sort out this mess.”
Transport for Quality of Life director Lynn Sloman said the plans risked a “Humpty Dumpty railway — it’ll be almost impossible to put the pieces back together again.”
Campaign for Public Ownership director Neil Clark said the sell-off would mean “going backwards — it’s ‘bring back Railtrack’,” referring to the failed private-sector authority that had to be renationalised as Network Rail in 2002.
Drivers’ union Aslef said NR’s plans reflected a fixation with privatisation that had failed the country.
“Fares and public subsidies have soared — we now have the highest fares in Europe — while trains have got more crowded and rolling stock has, on average, got older,” the union pointed out.
“We are working for a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn committed to putting our railway back together as a modern integrated and publicly owned system.”