Private Rail Firms to Face Franchise Fight with State Under Labour Plan
THE GUARDIAN – Labour is to raise the prospect of further parts of the rail network being taken back into public ownership when it announces plans to subject franchises to a competitive bid between the state and private sector as they come up for renewal.
But Ed Miliband will anger rail unions and some Labour MPs in the announcement next week by ruling out proposals that all expired franchises under a Labour government be returned automatically to the public sector – which would amount to a form of staggered renationalisation.
Senior shadow cabinet figures have agreed that a pragmatic choice between the state and private sector based on price, reliability and quality of service will provide a solution that allays commuter frustration, provides a fair deal for the taxpayer and does not amount to a return to British Rail.
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