Labour should take control of railways if it wins next election prospective MPs say
Not-for-private-profit model used by the East Coast line should be extended group says
A Labour government should make a commitment to reforming the UK’s railways and to creating “bold” offers on rail fares, a group of Labour parliamentary candidates has said.
In a letter to the Observer, the group outlined that rail fares in Britain are contributing to the cost-of-living crisis, and claimed that season tickets are now the largest monthly expense for many people, “costing even more than the mortgage or rent”.
The candidates stated that just as Labour has pledged to freeze energy bills and reset the market in order to secure a better deal for customers, so should Labour reform the rail industry to secure a better deal for passengers.
“Train companies walk away with hundreds of millions of pounds every year, despite running monopoly services and benefitting from £4bn of public investment in the rail network every year.
“These profits are even helping keep down rail fares on the continent as many of Britain’s rail services are run by subsidiaries of the state railways of France, Germany and the Netherlands,” the group said.
The group claims that the East Coast line’s not-for-private-profit model, which makes over £1bn in franchise payments to the government while reinvesting its further profit to benefit passengers, should be extended to the rest of the UK’s rail network.
The East Coast mainline became publicly-run in 2009 when its then-owner National Rail ran into financial difficulty.
But the line is due to return to private ownership in 2015, with train companies FirstGroup, Eurostar and French firm Keolis, and Virgin and Stagecoach vying for the opportunity to take over the line.
The current East Coast line model would result in “hundreds of millions [of pounds] currently lost in private profit would be available to fully fund a bold offer on rail fares”, the candidates said.
The group of candidates includes Nancy Platts of Bighton, Kemptown and Peacehaven; Andrew Pakes of Milton Keynes South; Wes Streeting of Ilford North; Clive Lewis Norwich South and Polly Billington of Thurrock.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...