News and Media
Seventy percent want public rail
12 Sep 2012
ASLEF today released the result of a national opinion survey carried out last weekend by GfK NOP which revealed that 70% of the country wants rail to be returned to public ownership.
Asked specifically 'Do you think UK rail should be returned to public ownership?' a whopping 70% said they did, with 28% disagreeing and only 2% having no opinion.
'This is the biggest ever survey result in favour of returning rail to public ownership,' says ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan. 'It shows clearly that the public is fed up with the franchising farce, a system that is now so discredited that the government stands in total isolation in supporting it. The unions, the train companies like Virgin and the public all want an end to an experiment that has failed. The time for tinkering with the existing system is over.'
Mick called on the government and the Opposition to heed what the public had to say. 'It would be a democratic and practical step in the right direction to declare now that no franchise will be renewed when it ends,' Mick said. 'This would cost the public nothing, and would ensure that rail fares and profits benefit the travelling public, rather than shareholders and speculators.'
An emergency motion at the TUC this afternoon will be moved by the union's national organiser Simon Weller who will argue for
- the immediate nationalisation of the West Coast Mainline
- the retention of the East Coast mainline in public ownership and
- the return of all passenger services to public ownership.