Unions slam Northern Rail “betrayal”

Rail unions have criticised the government’s announcement it is looking for a “short term option” to deal with the future of Northern Rail.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “This non-statement from the government is a complete betrayal of long-suffering Northern Rail passengers.

“Instead of a ‘short-term option’ to be announced later in the month, the government should do the right thing now and immediately bring Northern Rail into public ownership. It’s blindingly obvious to anyone with an understanding of the extend of the failure of Northern Rail that the positive proven record of public ownership is what is required and what passengers and staff deserve.

“Even now with a decisive majority, the Tories are wary of undoing their Frankenstein privatisation of our railways as it runs against their ideological DNA – even though everyone knows the current system is broke beyond repair. The Tories are already failing the North.”

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This is just another fudge by the Tory government on Northern but it still proves without a shadow of a doubt that their private franchise model for running our railways is finished. The whole privatisation experiment which has reduced our railways to chaos must now be consigned to the dustbin of history.

“Other basket cases – South Western Railway, ‎Scotrail, Trans Pennine Express and the rest – should also be put out of their misery and be brought into public ownership as soon as is practically possible and I have written again to the Transport Secretary to discuss exactly that.

“This nonsense cannot go on. Yesterday’s decision by Grant Shapps makes a mockery of the imminent Williams Review which didn’t even consider the public ownership model. The spivs and speculators who have spent twenty five years bleeding Britain’s railways dry should be told that the game is up for every single one of them and should be instructed to pack their bags and clear out.”

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