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2017: Time to take back control of UK railways

30 December 2016

As rail commuters across the UK return to work this week they face fresh fare rises for journeys that at, peak times, are already the highest in Europe.

TSSA will be joining forces with Action For Rail, the Trades Union Congress and other rail unions to support fares-freeze protests and the call for rail operating companies to be taken back into public control at more than 100 stations across England and Wales at 8am on Tuesday morning (Jan 3).

In Scotland, where the Hogmanay Bank Holiday lasts a day longer, we will be kicking off the New Year with an official launch of our campaign to take back control of Scotland's rail network for the Scottish people at Glasgow Central Station on Wednesday at 5pm (Jan 4) followed by a public meeting with other rail unions, STUC representatives and other campaigners at the Renfield Centre, Bath Street, Glasgow at 6.30pm on Thursday evening (Jan 5)

Said TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes:

"As the British Government moves rudderless towards triggering Article 50, the Tories must be made to end the scandalous situation which means Britain's rail network is now nothing more than a gravy-train for Germany, France and Holland. Profits made from the imposed fare rises this week will continue to be used to subsidise the fares of passengers in other EU countries rather than invested in making things better for UK rail passengers,

"Abeilio, Arriva, Keolis are familiar names within our failing privatised railway. However, these companies are front organisations for the Dutch, the German and the French state-owned rail companies who are driving passenger costs up in Britain to make handsome profits which can be used to subsidise train fares in their respective countries. Frankly, this is the equivalent of having 'mug' written on our foreheads.

"However, Theresa May and her Transport Secretary Chris Grayling are so blinded by their own free-market ideology that they don't see - or care - that Britain's rail companies are now the nationalised assets of other people's countries.

"Let's face it, you can't campaign for a hard, a soft or any sort of Brexit and leave our railways at the mercy of foreign EU powers. It's high time we stopped this annual rip-off of our passengers and get round to taking back control of train companies for the British taxpayer. Money made from rail here should be ploughed back into cheaper fares and service upgrades for the benefit of British passengers not repatriated as booty into other EU countries thus making us Europe's off-shore rail colony.

"Any Tory Brexit plans which don't include taking back our railways from our European rail masters ain't worth the paper they are written on. Let's make 2017 the year we get down to the business of really taking back Britain's railways to the control of Britain's public."

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