Government should make Northern 'permanently public'

TSSA has welcomed the extension to Northern rail's public ownership contract, saying that the government was "on the right track", but needed to make the award permanent.

General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: 

"By extending the public sector contract to run Northern rail services the government are on the right track. But rather than issuing a contract for two to five years Transport Minister Grant Shapps should make it a permanent award now.

"Short term contracts create uncertainty and make it hard for operators to engage in the kind of long-term planning for upgrades and investment in technology that our railways desperately need. It's vital that Northern's public sector contract is made permanent now – with the rest of the rail sector to follow.

"The coronavirus pandemic has proven the need to keep public transport services, run for the greater good, in the public sector. It’s time to bring the rest of the railway network into public ownership and finally bring an end to the Tories' failed privatisation fiasco."