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Labor plan to nationalize British rail

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Labor has drawn up a plan to let the state take over passenger traffic on British railways if the party comes to power at the election scheduled for later this year. Illustration photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB

Of NTB | 25.04.2024 00:12:22

Policy: As part of efforts to clean up the rail sector, Labor envisions creating a state-owned company to take over the tender contracts of current train operators as they expire. The party expects to be able to complete that process within five years – that is, within one parliamentary term – if they win the election later this year.

– Labor will be responsible for the biggest overhaul of the railway in a generation, says transport policy spokesperson Louise Haigh ahead of a speech where the plans will be presented on Thursday.

Britain’s railways were privatized in the 1990s, but in recent years several train companies have been nationalized again, some of them having been stripped of their contracts after delivering poor services.

Almost 70 percent of voters are in favor of restoring public ownership of train operators on a permanent basis, according to a poll by YouGov. Less than 10 percent say they are negative about this.

Currently, Labor is around 20 percentage points ahead of today’s conservative government party in the polls.

The Tory government of Rishi Sunak has also advocated a new state-owned railway company, but their model is for that company to be given responsibility for the infrastructure and for tendering passenger traffic to private players.

(© NTB)

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