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RMT calls for renationalisation of all rail services as government extend Northern Rail public ownership

NORTHERN rail operations are to remain under public ownership and control for the next five years, prompting calls from RMT today for the renationalisation of all railway services.

The government decided today to extend the public ownership of Arriva-owned Northern after it was taken back in March last year.

The rail union pointed out that the Department for Transport decision came on the same day it was revealed that private operators were taking 15p of every pound spent on fares as profits.

The union’s general secretary Mick Cash said: “This announcement to keep Northern public is good news, and something that RMT has been campaigning on for many years after repeated failures by the previous privatised operators.

“Make no mistake that this announcement is also a colossal admission of the failure of privatised railways by the government.

“Privatised rail operators that cream huge profits out of our railways while operating a substandard service have no place in running our railways; when looking to the post Covid-19 recovery, and to fight the climate emergency, we need a functional and publicly owned railway more than ever.”

Northern rail was nicknamed “Northern Fail” by passengers due to its appalling record of unreliability and cancellations.

The franchise, which was the biggest privately run rail operation in the country, runs trains across the north of England via Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, the Lake District, Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Humber.

When rated by commuters, the service scored just one star for punctuality, availability of seats, customer service and value for money.

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