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Welcome & Editorial - May 2013

29 April 2013

Welcome to the May edition of TSSA Journal. We’ve got a diverse issue covering everything from the ongoing mess of rail franchising and the disgraceful decision to re-privatise the East Coast route through to the better news about the growth of light rail. We also look at how light rail is being put to more damaging uses – as part of Israel’s attempt to dominate the Palestinian West Bank, which it occupies.

The news that the Department for Transport is extending most rail franchises by as much as four years now opens up the possibility discussed in this column several issues ago. Many franchises that would have been signed-off before the May 2015 election are now due to being settled well after it. This means that unless the Conservatives stage a major comeback, Labour will have a real chance to quite quickly reshape the industry. In what way they might do this we don’t yet know, but there are many positive signs coming from their policy review. We’ll be keeping the pressure up to ensure the best possible settlement for those working in the industry and to drive home the argument amongst the public to reinforce our party political work. We’ve got a range of plans in the run-up to the General Election which we need members to be part of – see pages 5 and 7 and get involved.

It’s not just elections on a national scale that will shape our future – several of TSSA’s own leadership positions are currently being voted on. Do return your ballot papers by Tuesday 30 April for your vote to count.

In a few weeks time we’ll also have delegates from across Britain and Ireland meeting in Glasgow for TSSA’s Annual Delegate Conference. Do check out the live blog that will be updated throughout each day of Conference (12-15 May) at to follow all the latest developments.

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