The Department for Transport has launched a consultation document 1) on the proposed mega-franchise for railways in the South East
- TWENTY THOUSAND JOBS WILL BE LOST.
- PASSENGERS FACE MASSIVE RISES IN FARES.
- SAFETY WILL BE UNDERMINED.
The privatisation of Railways by John Major’s government has been the most unpopular transport policy for a generation. Opinion polls point to over three quarters of the electorate supporting re-nationalisation of Railways. New Labour missed an opportunity to bring back railways and other public transport back into democratic ownership. As a consequence, users are now facing the highest fares in Europe and face further massive increases if the McNulty plans go ahead. As part of its plans for the future of the rail industry, the government is asking train operating companies and Network Rail to outline how they will make cost reductions in line with the recommendations of the Rail Value for Money review led by Sir Roy McNulty.
- More than a quarter of these savings – £260m a year – will come through staffing cuts.
- According to the McNulty Review, this could lead to around 20,800 job losses, including rail guards, staff in ticket offices and on station platforms, catering staff and workers in maintenance and signalling.
- However, the unions say surveys consistently suggest that a lack of staffing is one of the key concerns of rail passengers, and more than 10,000 commuters and train users have so far registered their opposition to staff cuts in response to union campaigns.
- The McNulty Review calls for the closure of 750 Category E (or small-staffed) station booking offices around the UK.
- Leaked Department for Transport emails indicate that agreement has already been reached with one train operator, London Midland, to completely close or severely reduce opening hours at ticket offices at 86 of its 90 stations, leaving many deserted at all hours and leading to the loss of around 100 staff.
- These cuts will go ahead in the face of opposition from 18,000 London Midland passengers who responded to a public consultation petition against the closures, as well as the West Midlands integrated transport authority, Centro. 2)
We strongly urge you to respond arguing for nationalisation not this supra-franchise. Think Left supports Action for Rail (3) and renationalisation of the railways (8) and public transport. Privatisation of rail was the last privatisation of the Thatcher/Major Conservative years, yet sadly we are now witnessing wholescale privatisation of public services including health and education – despite very clear evidence that putting profit before people by privatisation of utilities and public services costs lives, jobs, and does not provide improved services.
WRITE TO YOUR MP, SUPPORT THIS CAMPAIGN
6. URL for video Clip from Action for Rail: http://www.rmtv.org.uk/video/video151/index.html