Posted 14th September 2009 | 4 Comments

RMT poll says 70% want renationalisation

Passengers on Concourse

AS this week's annual Trades Union Congress in Liverpool prepares for a debate on the future of Britain's railways, the RMT union has published results of an opinion poll  showing 70 per cent of people support the return of Britain's railways to public ownership.

Only 23 per cent of the 1,017 people questioned supported continued privatisation in the industry, according to the RMT.

The state of the railways, including the future of the East Coast Main Line inter-city passenger franchise, will be debated by the TUC in Liverpool on Thursday - when the RMT will be calling for support for the full re-nationalisation of the railways, as well as London Underground.

General secretary Bob Crow said: "This poll... shows that the Government are miles out of step with the voters when it comes to the crucial issue of who owns and runs our transport services.

"We are calling on the Government to use the return to public ownership of the East Coast Main Line in a few weeks' time as the starting point for a re-nationalisation of the railways and not as a short term crisis measure."

He added: "If Labour are serious about re-engaging with their core supporters, they can prove it by making a bold statement on public ownership of the railways."

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Lorentz, London

    Renationalisation would take us back to the disgracful conditions of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. were the railways were run for the benefit of union members. The railways today are vast improvment, and I question teh basis on which the RMT found 70% for renationalisation - probably only amongst the RMT executive.

  • andrew ganley, cheam, england

    The Privatisation of Britains Railway has been and still is an unmitigated disaster,except for the TOCs,ROSCOS and maintenance firms who treat it as a huge cash cow(only wish i had shares in the company who provide all those orange hv clothing!)
    You only have to look at the Cross Country split-up to see an example,anyone wanting intermediate stations between Carlisle andScotland has to change trains as do passengers from points west and as for Virgin WCs Pendolinos
    (the worst HSTs ever,like sitting in a 737) and Voyagers,dont even go there.

    Sady privatisation is never going to happen,its too late and if the Unions are so against it why didnt they do more back in the '90s? maybe its got something to do with drivers earning 30K + overnight perhaps.

  • BR Blue, London, UK

    "When are the RMT going to realise that the railways will never be re-nationalised?"

    Never say never in this political context!

  • Nedster, Glasgow, Scotland

    When are the RMT going to realise that the railways will never be re-nationalised? There are problems with the governments privatisation model, any one can see that. Privatisation works well in other countries so there is no reason why it cannot here.
    Interestingly, would the RMT back all the members of the private contractors who would be left on the scrapheap if the railways were re-nationalised. My answer is I doubt it. Mass redundancies would follow nationalisation, as many companies rely totally on the railways for workloads. This in turn supports countless families incomes.
    What the RMT should be doing right now is lobbying the government for assurances that there will be no cuts in the funding for the vital rail projects that this country needs. Secondly they should also be lobbying Network Rail and indeed the private contractors for assurances that there will be no more job cuts. Thirdly they should be lobbying the government for longer franchises for train companies in order for them to invest. Fourthly they should lobby the government for stricter franchise contracts in order that a Train Operating Company cannot hand it back when the going gets tough.