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Re-nationalise the Railways

Comment 2nd July 2010

That the Government repeal certain parts of the Railways Act 1993, in order that private operators do not have their franchises renewed or extended. The operation of these services will then be taken over by a publicly owned, publicly accountable body.

Why does this matter?

The railways in private ownership have become between 3 and 5 times more expensive to run that under BR. British Rail was one of the most efficient railway systems in Europe in the 1990's. The system chosen by the Government in 1993 has resulted in a myriad of contracts governing the operation of trains, duplication in marketing and a lack of focus. Passengers now have hundreds of different ticket prices which are confusing, and result in poor service. This operator should be integrated in with Network Rail, to co-ordinate better maintenance works and operations. EU regulations do not prevent this from occuring, they merely require seperate accounting of costs to assist open access operators.

A single passenger operator for franchised services will eliminate waste, save money and have a greater focus on the rail passenger's needs. Open access services, such as those operated by Grand Central, will not be affected, and these companies will continue to provide a niche service where the main operator cannot operate.

This will result in a better service, at a lower cost to the taxpayer.

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