Poll: Should the rail industry be renationalised? Norfolk Labour candidates tell Ed Miliband to commit to return to state ownership

Norwich station. Labour candidates are calling for the rail industry to be renationalised Norwich station. Labour candidates are calling for the rail industry to be renationalised

Sunday, May 4, 2014
4:00 PM

Labour leader Ed Miliband refused to rule out bringing the railways back into public ownership, saying the party was “looking at all the options”.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

He has come under pressure from former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott and more than 30 would-be Labour MPs to commit to renationalising the industry.

A sixth of those who wrote the open letter to their leader were from Norfolk. 
These were Norwich South candidate Clive Lewis, Norwich North candidate Jessica Asato, Great Yarmouth candidate Lara Norris, South Norfolk candidate Deborah Sacks and South West Norfolk candidate Peter Smith.

Ms Asato, Labour’s Norwich North candidate said: “Abellio Greater Anglia profits, like most of our train operating companies, go from our pockets to other countries’ rail systems rather than being ploughed back into our own. Instead we should build on the excellent example of the Directly Operated Railways which has been in charge of the East Coast mainline, which not only has been cheaper for the taxpayer in subsidy, but has actually made a substantial profit. Norwich commuters deserve a better deal than having to pay higher and higher fares which don’t go back into our railways but into the profit margins of European state railways.”

While Mr Lewis said: “Under private ownership Chloe Smith and Simon Wright’s Norwich in 90 promise sounds more like a pledge on rail fares than on timings.

“The reality is that rail is a natural monopoly, competition is non-existent and here in Norwich we’re paying through the nose for a sub standard service.”

Ms Smith, the Conservative MP for North Norwich, said: “It is extraordinary to see Labour trying to drag our railway back to the 1970s. Labour spending money that they don’t have has ruined the economy before. What counts is investment in East Anglia and that’s what I am securing through the Norwich in Ninety campaign for better, faster rail which will bring more jobs to Norfolk in the years to come.”

She added: “Labour did little for Norfolk in their years in power - for example, they never bothered completing the A11. We’ve done that. Their suggestion now is fantasy and wouldn’t improve things for the Norfolk train travellers who do have a hard time, thanks to decades of underinvestment including under Labour. The campaign I’m leading with fellow Conservative MPs in the region is already achieving improvements like the refurbished carriages already on order, coming in ASAP.”

Mr Miliband said Labour would not return to the old days of British Rail but the current system was flawed.

He has been urged to consider the success of East Coast since it was taken back into public ownership, with Lord Prescott suggesting the existing franchise deals should simply be allowed to lapse.

The Labour leader told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “We are looking at all the options on the railways. We are not going to go back to old-style British Rail.”

He said Labour would be “pragmatic” and “we have got to recognise that the system at the moment has flaws in it”.

“Passengers are paying high fares in this country and we are paying big subsidies from the taxpayer.”

East Coast was in public hands but the Government was “dogmatically” privatising it, he said.

“I want to see value for money for the taxpayer. I am never going to write a blank cheque and I am not going back to the past, but we are looking at the different options.”

He added: “There is a balance to be struck here because there are some benefits you can have sometimes from competition and we are not gong back to the old monolithic model that was British Rail.

“But we do need to look at how we can have a coherent system.”

The call for renationalisation from prospective parliamentary candidates came in a letter to The Observer.

They said: “Train companies walk away with hundreds of millions of pounds every year, despite running monopoly services and benefiting from £4 billion of public investment in the rail network every year.

“These profits are even helping keep down rail fares on the continent as many of Britain’s rail services are run by subsidiaries of the state railways of France, Germany and the Netherlands.

“Yet the not-for-private-profit model that works so well on the East Coast line has shown how there is a better way to run Britain’s rail services. As well as making over £1 billion of franchise payments to government, East Coast reinvests all of its further profit to benefit passengers.

“A commitment to extend this successful model to the rest of the rail network, as existing contracts come to an end, would mean that hundreds of millions currently lost in private profit would be available to fully fund a bold offer on rail fares.”

The demand was echoed by Lord Prescott, who used his Sunday Mirror column to say Mr Miliband should announce the renationalisation at the autumn party conference.

He said: “Ed Miliband says he wants to look at innovative ways of running our railway system. Well, 19 of these 25 railway franchises will have to be renegotiated over the next five years. So let each one lapse and pull them back into public ownership.”

Meanwhile the party stressed that a document setting out proposals for tough restrictions on the sale and advertising of alcohol, unhealthy food and tobacco was not official Labour policy.

The plan would end sports sponsorship by drinks firms and impose minimum alcohol pricing in an effort to cut the impact of drinking on Britons’ health.

There would also be new laws to curb the amount of sugar, fat and salt in food aimed at children, and a ban on advertising unhealthy products on TV before the 9pm watershed.

The Mail on Sunday reported that the plans are contained in a report to the “society” sub-group of the shadow cabinet.

A Labour spokesman said the leaked paper “represents a wide range of options” but was not official party policy.

“Improving public health is crucial to people’s quality of life. That’s why we’ve rightly pressed the Government to end their opposition to plain cigarette packaging,” the spokesman said.

“This paper represents a wide range of options and not Labour party policy.”

He has come under pressure from former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott and more than 30 would-be Labour MPs to commit to renationalising the industry.

A sixth of those who wrote the open letter to their leader were from Norfolk. 
These were Norwich South candidate Clive Lewis, Norwich North candidate Jessica Asato, Great Yarmouth candidate Lara Norris, South Norfolk candidate Deborah Sacks and South West Norfolk candidate Peter Smith.

Ms Asato, Labour’s Norwich North candidate said: “Abellio Greater Anglia profits, like most of our train operating companies, go from our pockets to other countries’ rail systems rather than being ploughed back into our own. Instead we should build on the excellent example of the Directly Operated Railways which has been in charge of the East Coast mainline, which not only has been cheaper for the taxpayer in subsidy, but has actually made a substantial profit. Norwich commuters deserve a better deal than having to pay higher and higher fares which don’t go back into our railways but into the profit margins of European state railways.”

While Mr Lewis said: “Under private ownership Chloe Smith and Simon Wright’s “Norwich in 90” promise sounds more like a pledge on rail fares than on timings.

“The reality is that rail is a natural monopoly, competition is non-existent and here in Norwich we’re paying through the nose for a sub standard service.”

East coast mainline has shown the way forward and I’d like to see that model implemented here in our region.

Mr Miliband said Labour would not return to the old days of British Rail but the current system was flawed.

He has been urged to consider the success of East Coast since it was taken back into public ownership, with Lord Prescott suggesting the existing franchise deals should simply be allowed to lapse.

The Labour leader told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “We are looking at all the options on the railways. We are not going to go back to old-style British Rail.”

He said Labour would be “pragmatic” and “we have got to recognise that the system at the moment has flaws in it”.

“Passengers are paying high fares in this country and we are paying big subsidies from the taxpayer.”

East Coast was in public hands but the Government was “dogmatically” privatising it, he said.

“I want to see value for money for the taxpayer. I am never going to write a blank cheque and I am not going back to the past, but we are looking at the different options.”

He added: “There is a balance to be struck here because there are some benefits you can have sometimes from competition and we are not gong back to the old monolithic model that was British Rail.

“But we do need to look at how we can have a coherent system.”

The call for renationalisation from prospective parliamentary candidates came in a letter to The Observer.

They said: “Train companies walk away with hundreds of millions of pounds every year, despite running monopoly services and benefiting from £4 billion of public investment in the rail network every year.

“These profits are even helping keep down rail fares on the continent as many of Britain’s rail services are run by subsidiaries of the state railways of France, Germany and the Netherlands.

“Yet the not-for-private-profit model that works so well on the East Coast line has shown how there is a better way to run Britain’s rail services. As well as making over £1 billion of franchise payments to government, East Coast reinvests all of its further profit to benefit passengers.

“A commitment to extend this successful model to the rest of the rail network, as existing contracts come to an end, would mean that hundreds of millions currently lost in private profit would be available to fully fund a bold offer on rail fares.”

The demand was echoed by Lord Prescott, who used his Sunday Mirror column to say Mr Miliband should announce the renationalisation at the autumn party conference.

He said: “Ed Miliband says he wants to look at innovative ways of running our railway system. Well, 19 of these 25 railway franchises will have to be renegotiated over the next five years. So let each one lapse and pull them back into public ownership.”

Meanwhile the party stressed that a document setting out proposals for tough restrictions on the sale and advertising of alcohol, unhealthy food and tobacco was not official Labour policy.

The plan would end sports sponsorship by drinks firms and impose minimum alcohol pricing in an effort to cut the impact of drinking on Britons’ health.

There would also be new laws to curb the amount of sugar, fat and salt in food aimed at children, and a ban on advertising unhealthy products on TV before the 9pm watershed.

The Mail on Sunday reported that the plans are contained in a report to the “society” sub-group of the shadow cabinet.

A Labour spokesman said the leaked paper “represents a wide range of options” but was not official party policy.

“Improving public health is crucial to people’s quality of life. That’s why we’ve rightly pressed the Government to end their opposition to plain cigarette packaging,” the spokesman said.

“This paper represents a wide range of options and not Labour party policy.”

37 comments

  • Citizen of the EUSSR- The subsidies going into rail transport now by the UK government have reached levels never seen before in the history of the UK rail network. Given that there is effectively 3 separate entities and dozen of smaller companies having to be regulated independently by the government it is subsidies that are the incentive for private operators to be involved in rail and not the return they see on fares directly. However, without the combination of subsidies and high fares it is highly likely that no private company would see any return in their investment. The disparate level of service and difficulties of travelling between the more remote locations in the UK served by several operators is ample evidence of the lack of commonality of equipment or levels of service and strategic vision that exists for moving either people or freight around the UK. 'If' the politicised rail unions could be kept in check then nationalising the railways would, I believe, be better for the country than the present system. However, the chances of either happening are in reality quite slim.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Bad Form

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • @Bad Form - I fully agree with your history of the railways, but there really HAS been a rail resurgence in the UK, hence the record number of passengers travelling - the growth has outstripped every other country in Europe! There's also record levels of investment in new stations, new lines, new track, and new and refurbished trains (not much in Norfolk though!) I'm just pleased there's more trains than ever, and in better condition and more comfortable. Even in Norfolk we now have 2 different companies running services between Norwich and Ely using air conditioned trains (much better than the rattly old British Rail Diesel Multiple Units - and it was a private operator that introduced an hourly Norwich Cambridge service!). Between Ely and Peterborough we have a choice of 3 different companies, and at Peterborough no less than SEVEN different train companies pass through. Much better than the drab old blue and grey monopolistic BR! Your comment that the private operators will always put the interests of shareholders ahead of passengers needs is another common misconception. Like all private companies, they make more money by serving their customers needs - it's no different to British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Tesco, Sainsbury, Apple, Microsoft or BMW..... can you imagine what their products would be like if they were nationalised?!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Citizen of EUSSR

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Citizen of EUSSR. The history of the railways in the UK is a story of political indifference and inept management that wasted millions in the post war years allowing different regions to compete with each other rather then concentrate in trying to recover the mess left behind from being used so intensively during the war. Given that the postwar UK economy was in such a dreadful state the railways were left to bumble along with no oversight of what was needed to ensure that they remained fit for purpose. The post war years saw a bias towards road transport, no doubt caused by those in government who had a vested interest in ensuring the profitability of building, oil and road transport companies. Without a proper national transport policy and with successive governments starving the railways of funds it was only a matter of time before the chaotic and inefficient mess that existed was cut to the bone by the infamous Dr Beeching. With the current government being made up of people who are also undoubtedly sympathetic to the road transport lobby, car manufacturers, as well as oil companies, the chance of seeing a resurgence of a national railway is and will remain slim. In the meantime the interests of shareholders will ensure that any private rail operator puts their return on their investment ahead of passenger needs

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Bad Form

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Dear Mr Ingo,  just to prove my point about fares in the UK - Norwich to London Saturday 5th July, depart Norwich 0700 and return from London at 1600 is (on the privatised Anglia Railways) £22 return.   The same distance journey in France from Cambrai to Paris - same date and times - is (on the nationalised SNCF) £54.50 return!   That's getting on for nearly THREE TIMES as much! Maybe I'm older than you, bur I remember travelling from Kings Lynn to London in the early 1980s and there was only one train every 2 hours, it was a smelly old diesel hauling tatty old carriages, often ran late, and ended up at the filthy Liverpool Street. The service is now hourly (soon to be every half hour) with nice clean electric trains running into the more convenient brand new Kings Cross station. At Kings Cross there are four different train operators going north, offering refurbished trains and a variety of fares and innovations. You would get none of this with son of British Rail! I fully agree with you about HS2 though - a complete waste of money. I would rather see it used on reopening the lines Beeching, Barbara Castle and British Rail shut

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Citizen of EUSSR

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Each time a franchise changes hands it cost many millions of £s in "rebranding". And guess who pays for that..... And I remember British Rail - run by railwaymen, not customer service spivs.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    marty r

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • sorry, Norfolk n'good I meant to say

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • Ramsgate to Manchester leaving on a Friday, coming back on a Tuesday, cheapest fare 249,-return. The comparable journey from Rouen in France, to Dijon, on the same days, same time, same distance, cheapest fare 122,- return. For that 122 pounds less in fare you arrive 40 minutes earlier at Dijon, citizen of the EUSSR and Norfolk John. And no, I do not hold any rail shares.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • Don't know why some people want the railways nationalised, you cannot remember how dreadful the railways were under British Rail! And if the fares are now too expensive, why are so many people travelling by train? It is FACT that train travel is at a record level. Many people complain about overcrowding - you'll hardly solve that by reducing the fares! I guess most of the people commenting don't remember British Rail, probably never travel by train, and rarely leave Norfolk!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • I don't believe the idea to re-nationalise the railways would work at the moment because two of the largest rail unions would be left with the ability to cripple the network far too easily.'If' the unions were more accountable to their members and the proportion of balloted members who wanted industrial action exceeded 50% of the union then re-nationalising the railways would definitely be the most sensible way forward. However, without such safeguards in place the railway would be at the mercy of a few people with political axes to grind rather than looking after the interests of their members.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Bad Form

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  • "off peak fares ...are among the cheapest in Europe" That guy's living on another planet!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    marty r

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • The case for public ownership is clear cut and obvious (to most anyway)....................The problem is does anyone believe a word NuLab says anymore. They had this in their 1997 manifesto and promptly "forgot" it in their haste to be "relaxed about the filthy rich" The only parties really committed to public ownership seem to be the Greens and the BNP and that's not much of a choice, is it!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    marty r

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Citizen of the EUssr, I have left a considered reply, showing that you are wrong, but moderators are sitting on it and I shan't write it again.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Citizen of the EUSSR, what has Labour ever done to change the SSR in Europe, have it your way. Most countries in Europe have cheaper fares than we have in Britain, in the case of France, you are arriving 40 minutes earlier on a comparable distance journey and pay £127,- less. This privatised railsystem we are subsidising here, is far too much fragmented, out for profits on our backs, and frit to invest the HS2 money themselves. How about a british built HS2, oops sorry, we have not got the expertise anymore, so it will cost us dearly, in money and in a loss of regional rail improvements. And just think of the choices, France's TGV, or the bargain basement Chinese equivalent, negotiated with extra access for all workers and special tax relief for companies and years to come, bakschisch.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • I'll go with anything that improves the diabolical Norwich - Liverpool route.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    biglingers

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • @Ingo - sorry, but you are incorrect. Walk-on or peak fares are dearer in the UK than MOST (not all) European countries, whereas due to us not having the typical socialist one size fits all fares policy, off peak and advance fares are among the cheapest in Europe. This is partly the reason that the railways are now carrying TWICE the number of passengers they were 20 years ago in British Rail days. Punctuality (apart from Norwich - London!) is now far better than in BR days as is service frequency, and both are among the best in Europe. Overall, the only railway regarded as overall performing better than UK's railways is Germany, where much of the network is now run by private operators, albeit under the DB branding. Where our railway falls down is that virtually every decision the private operators have to make, from the colour of toilet seats to the number of trains available, has to be rubber stamped by civil servants and politicians - and who would trust them to make decisions?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Citizen of EUSSR

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Our dynastic politicians soley concerned with vested interests and international finance, managed to persuade us that 2000 different companies running the railway system was good. Its not, it is the most expensive service in Europe, often late, prone to hold ups in old sack stations and void of investment, why else should we, the taxpayer, back up the expenses of an HS2, when they will reap the profits of it? Re nationalisation is Green Party policy and it is cute to see the political parties bereft of ideas use their machiavellian tricks to make out its their policy. Labour, promoting Will Straw and Euan Blair as future dynasty candidates, have left socialism, whilst Keir Hardie is spinning in his grave,. this surely is not what he thought of socialism or the Labour party promoting it.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Common ownership can take many forms including the old post-1945 style nationalisation.This is nothing of the sort.It is simply waiting for each franchise to come up with Directly Operated Rail,which is owned by us very successfully at the East Coast mainline, as the preferred bidder.There are other models as Dave 01 says.Why not a nationally owned co-operative with every adult in the country given equal membership?Whichever Labour finally arrives at,it cannot be worse than the current status quo,for both passengers and taxpayers.Anyway,Sir Richard Branson has said he's not interested in making any more money or receiving any more public subsidy,as he now intends to save the planet instead.He should know.He owns enough of it.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • @angela, OK my examples can be interpreted as non neutral, as you say there are reasons behind reasons in most things.... Can I defend my argument for common sense? In this day and age it is really hard to find examples of common sense...

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Dave01

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • No thanks, I remember British Rail too well I don't want that again thank you

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    watchdog

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • @ Dave 01. Thank you for your reply, but I have to disagree with the examples that you give. Common sense is more than an impression or a gut feeling. Its built on knowledge, experience and accurate information. When Mr. Farage and UKIP first came on the scene, I took time to look into his record, his party, and his politics.(based on the experience that ALL politicians are guilty of 'spin' to get as many votes as they can) I read articles supporting him and articles condemning him, and I came to the conclusion that he and his party aren't exactly the nice blokes you'd hope to meet in the pub, and that there were many reasons not to vote for him. I also disagree with your view of the firemen's strike. I read what the government says in newspapers, and my 'common sense' told me to speak to firemen here in Norwich. I didn't find any who felt force by their Union to join a strike they didn't agree with. I did find them to be very worried about the government plans to change their working conditions and pensions.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    angela

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • @Sportswagon - I'm afraid you are incorrect - I think you've cut and pasted the wrong page from Wikipedia! What WAS Japanese National Railways is now run by 7 "for profit" companies. In 1987, the government of Japan took steps to divide and privatize JNR. While division of operations began in April of that year, privatization was not immediate: initially, the government retained ownership of the companies. Privatization of some of the companies began in the early 1990s. By 2006, all of the shares of JR East, JR Central and JR West had been offered to the market and they are now publicly traded. On the other hand, all of the shares of JR Hokkaido, JR Shikoku, JR Kyushu and JR Freight are still owned by the government. Also, in the US, most passenger services are run by Amtrak, which IS state-run!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Citizen of EUSSR

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Expat I am afraid u r mistaken re-Japan: "Japan, the Railway Nationalization Act of 1906 brought most of the country's private railway lines under public control. Between 1906 and 1907, 2,812 miles (4,525 km) of track were purchased from seventeen private railway companies. The national railway network grew to about 4,400 miles (7,100 km) of track, and private railways were relegated to providing local and regional services." As I said most major world railway systems are state owned bar the US.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • And another thing... Common sense does not prevail, our fire fighters are forced to go on strike this weekend by a Pseudo political Union but not on strike because they are morally nice sensible humanist people who save people, that is what they do, that is what the tax payer pays for and that is why we respect our professional services..the union can not ever tell them to not save people, nor can politicians...I really do think we should have a ' common sense' party. Unfortunately I am too busy to run one...I am Just a crazy inventor who speaks common sense...always ....dave01

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Dave01

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Angela, yes, that is true. Unfortunately in the UK we do not have a 'common sense' party, the nearest we have is the man you meet down the pub eg mr Farage, at least he is honest to say he and his wife claimed £2million from EU expenses.. Or whatever, it does not matter...Etc.. At least he is honest. I don't claim to support any of his policies but he is a rare diamond, he is totally honest and we are not used to that in western politics...yes a common sense party can conquer the world , but as yet, there is no common sense party to vote for. Nearest may be the United Nations but even UN is driven by politics....

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Dave01

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Angela, yes, a vote for common sense always wins, philosophically and logic and hence financially, unfortunately we have inherited a crowd of delusional political toe the line types that have made east east Anglia an embarrassing laughing stock .... So many opportunities and so many negative AAPs , wdc killed Lowesoft, no vision no hope, ... 1st east killed a chance of a million pound contract by proposing a road through jeld wen, the So called urban regeneration project was a illogical apart from spending millions to acquire the property ownership map of both councils and passing that on to all in the group.....I asked.to look at map but their arrogance basically told me to Pas off....AS A backwater how much cr&p do wdc and ex 1st east fraud expect us to take? When is the next local election?.... We have had enough of gravy and egoes.. IMO

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Dave01

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Well, well, It seems that the vast majority of those taking part in your poll believe in public service industries after all. Around three quarters preferring it to a privatised industry making money for its owners and shareholders. A vote for common sense.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    angela

    Monday, May 5, 2014

  • Or in other words, state run but well away from the hands and commercial ineptness aka political agendas of politicians...a sort of civil service but not run by civil servants who get paid paid the same if they work or not work so they spend their time not working or not motivated, a dichotomy of democracy, .. And politicians run circles round them so super egoes go forward as often seen in county and local councils... It can actually be classified as a mental illness, self delusion etc. we have it all in Suffolk and WDC despite high profile sensible comments from business, eg. Peter Colby, they enjoy totally ignoring everyone in the area... Madness. I guess you have it in Norfolk too. Anyway, back to the railways, we deserve to get the rewards and a better networked system and cheaper fares!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Dave01

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • The railways are perfect to be run by a national organisation who can invest and get a return on investment. Morally that should be the tax payer, after already paying for huge business losses in network rail to fund and subsidise the profits of private companies... The problem is that the system can not be run by politicians. Politicians are only concerned with keeping their career going and will do almost anything, lying is normal eg Blair and WMD.. Prescott two jags can't see why trains may affect pie and chips, ..... In conclusion, yes, the train network can be a good investment for taxpayers and provide a brilliant national service, in reality, the people we vote for have their own party political gang ideologies and will pursue these regardless of common sense or business or tax payers initiative.... Same old story party line from all parties.... Gould help us! Let the new engineers run the railways IMO! OK, let me run the railways for a day! The solution is obvious.... Non political, tax payers make a profit, reflected in cheaper fares and more trains... Easy..

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Dave01

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • Then the giant monolith funded by some people who don't even use the railway can be held to ransom by Millabands masters the Rail Union with strikes like the ridiculous London Undergound one at the moment.Did we not learn anything from the 70;s.Shame on Assato and Lewis two dinosaurs,with no memories,just toadying to Ed and Prescott.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    PaulH

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • Nationalise it. Everyone will then be reminded of how efficient, clean and cheap (ignore the subsidies) state run companies can be. Do it. I double-dare you.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    lockers

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • The problem with the private companies is that their only concern is making money. My mate used to work for Virgin Trains and he said it was a standing joke with them that they could run rings round the government departments who were supposed to be in charge of them. Those departments at the time reported to, er, John Prescott.....

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • Funny how that bumbling buffoon Prescott is so keen for Ed Misterbean to nationalise the railways - if it's such a good idea why didn't he do it when he was transport minister during all those years when Liebore was in power? The privatised railway may have its faults, but there's TWICE as many people using rail now vs 20 years ago, far more trains running, much more modern rolling stock, and better stations. People seem to forget what a dire organisation British Rail really was!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Citizen of EUSSR

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • Many Conservative voters unhappy with privatised railway franchises. There must be a way of running an efficient railway in the public interest.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Capri

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • Sportswagon - you are indeed incorrect regarding Japan and the Netherlands. They are not entirely state owned and in Japan the major routes are privatised - in the Netherlands they are now following the same model as the UK. Anyone who has actually travelled on both their systems (especially as a rush hour user as opposed to a tourist) will understand that the myth of the efficiency versus the price of their systems in comparison to the UK is actually different from the reality.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    expat

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • All the most efficient, modernised and cheap public transport in the world is state owned as in Japan, France, Switzerland etc but here it is split on party political lines and is decrepit, expensive & ruinous to the economy, but why care as long as private individuals continue to rip us all off.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • No they shouldn't be re-nationalised. We already have the situation where there are political campaigns to get the taxpayer to fund the select few who choose to live in Norwich but work in London to travel to their highly paid jobs there quicker so they can get back to their cheaper Norfolk homes quicker. I would like to see it completely funded by the fare payer.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    expat

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

  • This means the unions want him to renationalise the railways. He won't be in power so it won't happen, anyway why should the tax payer fund more strikes??

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT