Unions hope an official review of the railway industry will recommend replacing the “failed” franchise system amid criticism of the way the industry operates.
The Government-commissioned review, headed by Keith Williams, is expected to report in the next few weeks, with expectations that a series of reforms will be suggested.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of the train drivers union Aslef, speculated that a new model will be outlined, where instead of bidding for a franchise, operators will get a management contract to run services, with the Government more in control of fares.
“That could work in the private sector, under a Tory government, or easily moved into the public sector under a Labour government committed to public ownership,” he said.
“We want a model that works for everyone, and that means we need to manage our own railway.
“Franchising has failed. The railway is a natural monopoly and it should be run as a public service, not for private profit, in a way that works for passengers, businesses, taxpayers and those who work in the industry.”
Rail unions have been stepping up calls for the railways to be re-nationalised, amid a series of industrial disputes and complaints from passengers about delays and cancellations.
You may also be interested in…
Rail punctuality hits 14-year low but compensation payments fall
Department for Transport data shows that Britain’s train companies paid out £79 million in total during the 2018/19 financial year, down 2.1% on the previous 12 months.
Over the same period, the rail industry’s then-official measure of punctuality reached a 14-year low. Read more.
Railway ReadsFrom the history of steam through to 21st century rail transport news, we have titles that cater for all rail enthusiasts. Covering diesels, modelling, steam and modern railways, check out our range of magazines and fantastic subscription offers.
Get The Railway Hub Weekly Round-upEnter your e-mail address below and you will receive weekly rail news straight into your inbox...
You can unsubscribe at any time.
About the Author
- How has The Railway Magazine changed in the last twenty years? - 10th August 2021
- UK railway news round-up - 13th November 2020
- Reviewing the New Steampunk Models from Bassett-Lowke - 20th October 2020