RMT warns Government set to re-privatise Northern Rail

RMT warns Government set to re-privatise Northern Rail

28 February 2020

RMT Press Office:

Rail union RMT today issued warnings that Northern Rail could be re-privatised in a matter of weeks following the imminent publication of a Government review into how our railways are run as the union prepares to mount protests for permanent public ownership next week.

After years of shameful performance and mismanagement the Government has been forced to take Arriva Rail North back into public ownership from 1st March as the franchise all but collapsed. Now within weeks the Government could pave the way for Northern to be re-privatised following the recommendations in the forthcoming ‘Williams Review’ of rail despite evidence showing that passenger satisfaction and performance improves under a publicly owned system.

RMT members, politicians and passengers will be at stations across the North of England on Monday 2 March sending a clear message to the Government to ‘Keep Northern Public’.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Northern Rail passengers and our hard-working members deserve so much better than what they have had to face for years under the Government’s broken privatised rail agenda.

“Even now, after all the years of mismanagement, extortionate fares and trains that should have been sent to the scrap heap 30 years ago this Government is still wedded to the utterly broken ideology of free market rail privatisation that has done nothing but fail passengers for decades.

“The Government must now bury the corpse of privatised rail and commit to public ownership of our rail services”


Notes for Editors
Northern Rail Stations with confirmed ‘Keep Northern Public’ events on Monday 2 March include:

• Newcastle Central Station (Main Entrances on Neville Street) – 7:30am to 9:00am
• Leeds Station – 7:00am to 10:00am
• Carlisle Station – 6:30am to 8:45am
• Manchester Victoria Station – 7:00am to 9:00am
• Wigan Station – 7:00am to 9:00am
• York Station – 7:00am to 9:00am
• Sheffield Station – 4:00pm to 6:00pm
• Wakefield Westgate – 7:30am-9:00am
RMT Union this week published a report ‘Reanimating The Corpse’ which revealed that:
• There is no evidence that concessions and management contracts will be any better than the current franchises in running a punctual and reliable service.
• Out of total profits of £204 million made by the concessions since they began, £196 million (96%) has been turned into shareholder dividend.
• The concessions account for 8% of the total dividend payments made by TOCs in the last 10 years, but they account for less than 4% of the passenger kilometres on the network.
• 65% of this dividend bonanza has flowed overseas because of the degree to which private rail companies are owned by overseas (often foreign state-owned) companies.
• Concessions and management contracts will represent no break with the failed privatisation of the past 27 years and may even offer greater opportunities for private companies to extract value from our railway system at public expense.

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