Put renationalisation on rail agenda, urges union
A UNION has called on the Derby man who will be heading a review of rail franchising to consider the option of renationalising the railways.
Richard Brown, chief executive of Eurostar, who lives in Littleover, is putting together a review of franchising in the wake of the West Coast Main Line debacle.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who is MP for Derbyshire Dales, ordered the review after flaws were discovered in the original bidding process, which saw First Group awarded the contract instead of Virgin.
The deal has since been scrapped and the Government has also put all franchise decisions on hold until the review has been completed.
Mr Brown will look in detail at whether changes are needed to the way risk is assessed and to the bidding and evaluation processes.
He is expected to report back by the end of December.
But the RMT union believes Mr Brown should look closer to home for the solution as Eurostar is entirely state-owned - with the UK, French and Belgian governments all having a stake in the company.
General secretary Bob Crow said: "In light of the West Coast fiasco, it would be an absolute disgrace if the most popular option, public ownership, was ignored – not least because the man carrying out the review runs a fully state-owned railway.
"Opinion polls and online surveys now show that between 70% and 90% of the British people support full renationalisation of the railways.
"It's not the evaluation or the franchising model that's wrong, it's the whole greed-driven, free-for-all of privatisation."