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Covid-19 Means Government Must 'Bite Bullet' & Nationalise Railways - Cortes

26 May 2020

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called for the Government to "bite the bullet" and bring Britain's railways back into public hands after reports of secret talks between Ministers and train companies.

The UK government has also now indicated it’s prepared to rescue large British companies and strategically important industries severely affected by the coronavirus crisis under a plan known as ‘Project Birch’.

In the lead up to the pandemic several rail franchises were believed to be on the verge of financial failure, including West Midlands Trains, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Greater Anglia, with Northern already taken back into public hands.

Commenting, Cortes said: “The result of any discussions which are taking place at the moment should end the Tory failed Frankenstein experiment of privatising our railways. It was teetering on the brink before the pandemic and it would be little wonder that it’s reached the end of the line.

“The hard reality is our rail network is vital and has only been able to keep Britain moving during the crisis because the government has stepped in – making our railways state owned in all but name.

“However, privateers are still turning a profit at a time of national crisis, and when passenger numbers have been massively reduced in order to make journeys safe under physical distancing measures.

“Government needs to be upfront with the public about what’s going on - bite the bullet and end the privateers’ gravy train by bringing our railways back into public ownership, for the good of our whole country.”  

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