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TSSA film highlights why UK must take back control of our railways

3 January 2017

As rail fares increase again today, (Tuesday 3 January) Transport Union TSSA release a hard-hitting public information film to highlight the sorry plight of Britain's railways under privatisation.

Called "Thank You UK," the video depicts citizens from France, from Holland and from Germany all saying a big thanks to the rail passengers over here for subsidising fares for rail passengers over there.

Said TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes,

"The sad fact of Britain's railways under privatisation is that they are actually not private at all. Huge chunks of Britain's rail operating companies are now owned by the French, the German and the Dutch governments. Our rail operating companies are now largely the publicly-owned and controlled assets of other nations states. Profits made from hiking passenger fares here our uses to keep passenger fares low and rail systems low.

"This film shows the shocking truth of the fate of Britain's railways under privatisation and makes the case that it is high time the UK takes back public control of our rail operating companies back from Keolis, Arriva and Abeilio who are just front companies for the French, the German and the Dutch states.

'The Tory government's continued ideological commitment to tendering out our rail operating companies is not just bleeding us dry, it runs counter to best practice evidence that rail companies run best under public-control.

"Theresa May is geared up to triggering Article 50 by the end of March but neither she, Her Bresit Ministers nor Transport Minister Chris Grayling has a post Brexit transport plan. But Brexit has made Taking Back Control of train operating companies a vital economic necessity. Leaving the EU but leaving our rail operating companies in the control of EU countries to continue reaping the profits, would now be preposterous.

"This film puts the case for European exit with a plan in place to take back into British public control the franchises from European rail states. Most of them expire before 2020. There is no cost outlay in doing it this way - just a cost benefit to Britain as we'd get to plough profits made here back into our own railways. And we'd get to end this annual fares rip off with Action For Rail research shows there would be an immediate 18% reduction in passenger fares.

"It's a no-brainer case and we hope this film will be shared widely and be used to hold the Tories to account in England and Wales - and in Scotland too where under SNP nationalist rule ScotRail has been tuned into a Dutch rail colony - for their unpatriotic and misguided running down of UK rail."

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