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TSSA Calls For Government Action On Arriva

20 November 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on the Government to step in after it emerged the proposed sale of the Arriva business has been shelved.

Cortes called for Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, to bring Arriva – which runs rail franchises including Northern, London Overground and buses around Britain - under public control.

Northern has been beset long running problems and was at the centre of widespread timetable chaos across Northern England in the Spring of 2018.

For most of 2019 the German state operator - Deutsche Bhan (DB) - had been looking to sell the Arriva business or float it on the stock market.

In recent days talks with an American equity group were shelved – prompting TSSA to call for reassurances about the future of rail and bus services run by Arriva in Britain.

Cortes said: “I’m calling for the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, to act now to bring Arriva services back into public hands. Nothing less will do.

“As anyone who travels on Northern will tell you it’s not good enough to leave the travelling public to the mercy of failed privatisation on our railways.

“We know that morale among Northern staff is at rock bottom, with real frustration among customers and reports that fewer than half of trains are reaching their destinations on time.

“What we have seen is months of uncertainty at Arriva as the company cast around looking for a private sale. This just goes to show that only placing our railways and our busses back in public hands will bring long-lasting stability.

“Arriva’s German state-owned parent company has been clear that Brexit is already having a strong negative effect and that is not something any credible Government can ignore.

“What's known for sure is that an incoming Labour Government will be on the side the travelling public and would renationalise our railways after two decades of failed privatisation which has benefitted only greedy shareholders.”

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