Britain's railways to be re-nationalised?

Back in January, we published a blog debating the possibility of our railways becoming nationalised (https://www.mane.co.uk/news/will-our-railways-be-nationalised-287519/). In it, the failures of the industry’s privatisation in 1994 were discussed. Although it was conceived to be a strategic plan fostering competition, and bringing about greater efficiency, it has seemed that within the last decade, the passenger fare prices have been creeping up, whilst the service of trains has been concurrently decreasing.

This week, the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, called for Britain’s railways to be renationalised, arguing that a return ticket from Manchester to London can now cost more than a round trip to Brazil or India. The Manchester mayor further added that the new government scheme, the Great British Rail Sale – a scheme offering lower fares – was a government acknowledgement that ticket prices were “way too high,” and that it signalled it was time for passengers to “retake control.”

The scheme would see some off-peak prices slashed by half between the 25 April and 27 May. The aim, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, is to encourage people to stop “living life virtually, and to visit our beautiful country.”

Writing in the Evening Standard, Mr Burnham announced that the scheme would provide passengers with a “glimpse of what it’s like to travel on the railways at prices permanently available to people in pretty much every other country in the world.”

Mr Burnham goes on to further exclaim that “the only way we will face up to the simultaneous cost-of-living and climate crisis is with a massive reduction in rail fares and that can only be achieved through full renationalisation.”