Sputnik: What do you make of the office of rail and roads conclusions that ‘systemic failings’ could lead to a repeat of the same railway chaos as we saw last summer?
Ellie Harrison: We welcome the findings of this report. They’re saying systemic failings in our railway are the cause of all the problems – this is what our campaign has been saying for the past 9 years. This privatized model that we have had for our railway since the 1990s just doesn’t work. Breaking the railways up into so many different parts and allowing so many different parts to be run for private profit just does not lead to the cooperation that you need to run an efficient railway network.
Ellie Harrison: Train tickets have risen, the cost of train tickets has risen by more than 25% above inflation since privatization. And the way privatization was sold to us in the 1990s was that we would be subsidizing our railways by less or that we would be able to stop subsidizing our railways altogether and that train fares would go down. Neither has been the case; we’re subsidizing our railways by two to three times more than we ever did we British railways and we’re paying more as passengers too. So it’s been a disaster and we want to create a railway which is affordable for everybody to use; that’s not a rich man’s toy as the privatized network is being referred to.
Ellie Harrison: Yes, I would like to see the end of all of these overpaid CEOs who are not doing their jobs properly and see one less overpaid, more responsible board of people in charge of the railway network. I don’t think that people resigning is going to make a huge difference under this broken system that we’re operating with at the moment but they’re getting paid far too much money compare to the majority of the population and they’re clearly not doing their job properly.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.