ONS acknowledges railways are publicly owned – government must take direct control

Network Rail workers in orange high vis and hard hats working on tracks and overhead lines

TSSA has challenged the Transport Secretary to come clean about public ownership of the UK rail network after the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reclassified train companies in England, Wales and Scotland as public bodies.

The ONS published letters to HM Treasury and the Scottish Government on its website today announcing that it had reclassified those Train Operating Companies which are currently running under Emergency Measures Agreements as public non-financial corporations. The letters state “Almost all of the financial risks associated with running rail transport are now borne by the government.” And “…the assessment concluded that public sector control of the TOCs exists”.

General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: 

"The Office for National Statistics has candidly exposed the truth about our railways – they are now in public ownership.

"I know that telling the truth isn't this Tory government’s forte. However, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps must come clean and acknowledge that our railways are now in public ownership and take direct control of running them rather than continue to line the pockets of fleecing privateers with taxpayers' money."