Railtrack outcome ‘should add investors to those who oppose rail privatisation’ says union

14 October 2005

ASLEF’s Andy Reed says the public, trade unions, the Labour Party, passengers and staff want a publicly owned rail system – and today’s court decision about Railtrack should logically add investors to the list.

Andy, National Organiser of the train driver’s union, was commenting on today’s news that Railtrack shareholders had lost their High Court case for £157 million in compensation because the government withdrew its funding in the aftermath of the fatal Hatfield crash in 2000.

Andy says that the whole Railtrack saga underlines the folly of rail privatisation. ‘Millions of pounds have been poured into private companies which could have been used directly to upgrade and improve UK railway operations. But privatisation meant the government ended up in the ludicrous position of having to finance an operation it had sold!

‘We backed Stephen Byers at the time and continue to do so. We just hope his colleagues who remain in government will be won over to the transport system the country wants – and that includes a publicly owned railway organisation.'

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