RMT members were leafletting this morning outside Leeds Train Station against soaring train fares (which are proposed to rise 30% over the next 3 years) as well as the proposals in the recent McNulty report into the railways. They were joined by members of Youth Fight for Jobs, PCS and the NSSN.
Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party
Sir Roy McNulty was commissioned to investigate why the subsidies received by Britain’s railway companies are 35% higher than others across Europe, but the subsidies have also doubled in real terms since 1997.
Whilst the report indentifies fragmentation of the rail industry, which resulted from privatisation of the network, it proposes as a rememdy to further extend this, breaking up and privatising Network Rail, a throwback for the bad days of rail disasters under Railtrack.
The report also includes plans to attack the pay, terms and conditions of staff, as well as moving to driver operator only instead of having guards on trains. There are also suggestions of downgrading some lines, as well as attacks on rural and suburban lines.
Instead of attacking our railway network, the Socialist Party campaigns for it and other public transport to be brought back into public ownership under democratic control, so that instead of subsidising the profits of the Train Operating Companies, public transport provision can be planned to meet the needs of ordinary people.