Poll demands railways must be renationalised

So said the headline in last weekend’s Sunday Express.

According to their polling, six out of ten voters want to see a radical overhaul of how the network is managed.  This figure is four times the number who back the status quo.

This won’t be any surprise to us. A recent survey by ASLEF showed similar support for nationalised rail.

According to the Express story, the Labour Party leadership seems to be increasingly interested in public ownership too.  Ed Balls was reported to say:

The East Coast main line is currently in national control adn Network Rail came back into public hands, so at the moment we have a hybrid. I don’t know anybody who believes Network Rail should be going back into the private sector while East Coast is providing a good comparator to compare with the other franchises.

Not a ringing endorsement of nationalisation perhaps but, on the back of encouraging words from Shadow Transport Minister Maria Eagle, there is the suggestion that the opposition are beginning to take public ownership seriously.

A quick note to Mr Balls while we’re at it.  Ed, we know plenty of people who think Network Rail should be back into the private sector.  The government makes no bones about it, and have out their plans in the Rail Command Paper, including the selling off Network Rail concessions and putting regional NR under the management of private TOCs.  More HERE.