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Northern Renationalisation Sounds Death Knell For Private Railways

16 October 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has welcomed the possibility of Northern Rail coming back into public hands, saying it would mark "the death knell of rail privatisation."

It emerged the government is considering whether Northern should be taken into public hands during the appearance by Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, before the Commons' Transport Select Committee

Shapps said Northern's poor performance, with trains regularly arriving late or not at all, "cannot continue", adding he had issued a "request for proposals" from the firm and the Operator of Last Resort (OLR).

This could lead to services being brought into direct government control.

Responding Cortes said: “When the Tories are saying that Northern Rail might be renationalised you know the death knell of rail privatisation has arrived.

“It has never made any sense and now even those who, for dogmatic reasons, pioneered privatisation of our railways are having second thoughts.

“Taxpayers and passengers have been taken for a ride for far too long while shareholders have laughed all the way to the bank.

“If Shapps doesn’t gather the courage to bring Northern and the rest of the franchises back into public ownership, rest assured come the genral election, Labour will.”

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