Letter of the Day: Rail privatisation has hit the buffers

RAILWAYS: A train leaving Havant
RAILWAYS: A train leaving Havant
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Your report on the railways quite rightly highlights the fact that the cost of using our railways is increasingly making them unaffordable for working people (Commuters ‘out of pocket’ says trade union report, Aug 18).

A report on the same page tells us that South West Trains took the opportunity of VJ Day to put their prices up, knowing they had a larger market than usual, with travellers having no real alternative provision.

The privatisation of the railways was supposed to introduce competition, and thereby efficiencies.

The result has been the driving up of prices while creating a race to the bottom in service provision.

The cost of running our network is 30 per cent higher than in other EU countries (McNulty Report) and government subsidies have more than doubled in real terms since privatisation.

The only answer is to recognise that the railways are the vital infrastructure that gets Britain to work, and bring them back into public ownership, rather than pretending they can be run at a profit for shareholders.

Apparently this is now a ‘hard left’ view, but the Green Party, the RMT and the TUC are happy to stand with the 70 per cent of people interviewed on station platforms who also hold this view.

Ian McCulloch

Portsmouth Green Party