Labour pledge on rail rolling stock

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Indy Politics
Labour yesterday said for the first time that the three companies intended to own railway rolling stock after privatisation would be subject to the control of the Rail Regulator if there is a change of government, writes Don Macintyre.

The Commons pledge by Brian Wilson, newly installed transport spokesman under Clare Short, is a significant confirmation that Labour is not planning wholesale renationalisation of the industry.

He said the Regulator would prevent the rolling stock companies "holding the rest of the industry to ransom".

The move follows a month of uncertainty since the Labour Party conference over how far the party was committed to fulfilling the terms of the resolution promising to take the railway back into ownership as soon as possible.

Mr Wilson said last night: "Under Labour, the rolling stock companies will be brought under the control of the Regulator in order to prevent them holding the rest of the railway industry to ransom."

Labour hopes its announcement will act as a potential restraint on the expectations of potential investors.