31 July 2020
RMT Press Office:
RAIL UNION RMT today called for full transparency from Government and the rail industry as the UK’s railways took another step towards renationalisation following confirmation from the Office for National Statistics that from 1st April 2020, when the current Emergency Measures Agreements came into force to keep our trains moving during the COVID19 crisis, Train Operating Companies have been reclassified onto the public sector balance sheet which would include any current debt and liabilities.
This follows rumours that some train operating companies are on the verge of being fully renationalised and would join Government run and publicly owned London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and Northern Trains. RMT says that the move must now pave the way for full public ownership as rail stands on the edge of a precipice in the wake of the pandemic.
RMT Senior Assistant General Secretary Mick Lynch said;
“It is time that the Government and Train Operating companies were honest and fully transparent about what plans they have for our railways so that the entire rail industry and public build confidence and can plan accordingly as the COVID19 recovery continues.
“These backroom discussions and clandestine deals are completely unacceptable when what the entire rail industry and public need is full transparency as to what decisions are being made and in whose interest. The only serious option now has to be public ownership across the board with no turning back to the fragmentation and profiteering of private franchises.
“What is abundantly clear is that private train operating companies simply cannot provide the railway service key workers and the British public need as the wider lockdown continues to ease and RMT demands cast iron guarantees from Government that post-COVID there will not be a return to the catastrophic failure of rail privatisation and that there will be not one job lost as a result of these changes to our railway.”
The Correspondence on classification of train operating companies now running under emergency measures agreements from the Office for National Statistics to the Treasury can be found here https://www.ons.gov.uk/news/statementsandletters/correspondenceonclassificationoftrainoperatingcompaniesnowrunningunderemergencymeasuresagreements