Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bring The Railways Back Into Public Ownership

Grace Onions and me outside East Croydon Station on 5th January

On the morning the increased rail fares kicked in, local Greens leafleted outside* a couple of railway stations in the borough to promote our, 'Bring The Railways Back Into Public Ownership' campaign. This was part of a national campaign. There is distinction between public ownership and re-nationalised. I personally, don't won't to see the railways go back to the old days of a state owned model and would like to see users and employees of Southern railways, for example, also being the owners - much like a cooperative - where the profits are reinvested back in to the service not into shareholders pockets or even state owned companies of our European neighbours (as they are now).

*I got in to a spot of bother when I was leafleting right beside the florist in front of East Croydon station. Two security officials approached me and asked me if I had a license. I apologised and leafleted outside the Visitor Centre.

The full press release is here. I picked up the leaflets from Tom Chance the day before and he got some coverage here.

From Croydon Guardian

Green Candidate for Croydon South, Peter Underwood was quoted in the above article and Inside Croydon covered it here.

When launching her Private Members Bill to bring the railways into public hands, Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
"At the moment our train network is run on a profit-making model that’s great for shareholders but terrible for passengers.  We have to put up with overcrowded trains, unreliable services, and some of the highest fares in Europe. Since privatisation, the cost of train travel has risen by 23% in real terms, and the drain on the public purse has more than doubled.
“The irony is that some of the biggest profiters are the state-owned rail companies of our European neighbours. Taxpayers’ money that should be reinvested into services is ending up in the hands of overseas shareholders. By taking back individual franchises when they expire, the Government could save over £1 billion a year every year.
“It’s time to end this rip-off and bring our railways back into public ownership.”
Caroline has also been gathering signatures at Brighton station for a formal 

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Standing up for what matters