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To: Ed Miliband, David Cameron, Nick Clegg

We Want Our Railways Back

To Ed Miliband, David Cameron, Nick Clegg

We call upon your party to include in your manifesto for the 2015 General Election your intention to renationalise all UK railways over the course of the parliament.

We attached a letter to this petition headed 'Why It Matters' and call upon you to justify your decision if you do not agree to bring ownership of our railways back into our hands. It is our property sold without our permission and we want it back.

Why is this important?

Why it matters

I am addressing this petition to the above three party leaders because I have no real idea who will form the next government after May 2015.

Our national railways were privatised in the 1990 with the usual promises of better services, cheaper fares, less or no pull on the taxpayer and ownership by us, the British public. Despite the fact of course that we already owned the railway. As with every privatisation before and after it the results have been very different to those promised.

However it is true that many train companies that run franchises in the UK are publicly owned, but by other European countries. Arriva is a wholly owned subsidiary of the German national rail company Deutsche Bahn, and runs the Arriva Trains Wales and Cross Country franchises. The French national rail operator SNCF has a majority stake in Keolis, which operates the Trans Pennine franchise in partnership with FirstGroup. Keolis is also a minority partner in the Govia rail operating company, which runs the Southern, Southeastern and London Midland services. The Dutch state railway company Nederlandse Spoorwegen owns Abellio, which has a 50% stake in Serco-Abellio, which runs the Merseyrail and Northern Rail franchises. Abellio also runs Scotrail. European governments make millions of pounds a year in dividends from their British operations. From the subsidies paid by British tax payers.

Please do not read this piece as an 'anti-foreigner' rant. I simply do not understand how paying other governments vast profits to run our railways is good for the British people. Since privatisation billions of pounds of tax payer subsidised profits have gone into the coffers of other governments.

There is one railway still at the moment in the hands of the UK tax payer. The state-owned East Coast railway paid £225m to the government in the year to March 2014. In our hands now but for how long. We are about to sell our stake in Eurostar. Who to? It seems the French State Railways SNCF. As a side word I can tell you that last year I travelled First Class on SNCF from Tarbes in the South West of France to Paris, a journey of about 600 Km, for a cost of 45 Euros. Subsidised? Probably. Should I thank the British taxpayer for their contribution?

So the publicly owned East Coast Railway paid £225m in 'profits' to the UK taxpayers. What should we do with it now? Privatise it seems. And one of the front runners to take over this publicly owned success story? It seems its a joint venture between Keolis and Eurostar, subsidiaries of France's state-owned railway company, SNCF.

So should I book my return journey to Tarbes now or wait a little while. After all it could be even cheaper in a few months.


2018-02-22 07:02:31 +0000

50 signatures reached

2015-01-09 02:43:19 +0000

25 signatures reached

2014-11-04 16:04:30 +0000

10 signatures reached