ASLEF on rail franchising

26 April 2017

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has spoken out after publication of the government’s response to the Transport Select Committee’s tenth special report.
Mick said: ‘Britain’s railway is doing well despite – not because of – privatisation. Everyone who works in the rail knows that franchising, which has fragmented our national system, hasn’t worked. We need to put the wheels and the steel back together and create a modern, integrated rail network, fit for the 21st century, for passengers, for business, and for Britain.
‘But that won’t happen while tens of millions of pounds haemorrhage each year from our industry in the shape of profits which to support state-funded railways on continental Europe.
‘The government talks about investment but neglects to mention that the investment comes from the public purse – from the taxpayer, from you and me – while the profits are made by the companies who take none of the risk and all of the reward.
‘We now have the highest fares in Western Europe, much older rolling stock than ever before, and more overcrowded trains. Britain deserves better and, under a Labour government, will get what we know people want – the railway brought back into public ownership.’

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