Rail union TSSA has described Great British Railways (GBR) as a ‘halfway house’ which will not bring public ownership to the network, after it was revealed the new body will be headquartered in Derby.
The city’s bid to house GBR - which will own and manage rail infrastructure, issue contracts to private firms to run trains, set most fares and timetables, and sell tickets – triumphed over rivals Doncaster, York, Birmingham, Crewe and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
However, the future of GBR has been uncertain for months with the original timetable already significantly delayed.
Commenting, TSSA Interim General Secretary, Peter Pendle said: "Rightly the great city of Derby will be pleased at this news – but the government is going down the wrong track with its so-called Great British Railways scheme.
“This whole exercise is a halfway house and a missed opportunity. Instead of bringing our fragmented rail network fully into public control Conservative Ministers are desperate to cling to their failed ideology.
“Privatisation has been a disaster year after year on our precious railways, the public know that, and only running rail fully in the public interest will turn things around.
“At the moment we simply don’t know when GBR will be up and running, if it ever will be and indeed what it will look like. Frankly millions of passengers deserve much better.”