Missed opportunity to nationalise cross country services says TSSA

The Palace of Westminster

Transport union TSSA has today criticised the Government for the "missed opportunity" to bring key cross country rail services into public ownership after the Department for Transport extended its contract with Arriva.

While not a franchise extension, the contract will see the Government take on the revenue and cost risk associated with the franchise and pay Arriva a performance-linked fee to run the service. The contract with Arriva, signed today, is a similar arrangement to other Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) reached with operators in September.

Commenting, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “This is yet another missed opportunity. The Government should have taken this chance to bring these services back into public ownership.

“At a time of a national crisis, simply lining the pockets of privateers for three more years is neither a good look or a sound economic judgement.

“It’s crystal clear that privatisation of our railways has failed and that they are a vital part of our national infrastructure. The Williams Rail Review must steer a new path under public ownership for our railways and it can’t come soon enough.”