22:20 GMT08 July 2020
Listen Live
    Europe
    Get short URL
    0 20
    Subscribe

    Mounting disruptions to privatized rail services outside the British capital has turbocharged calls for the sector to be renationalized.

    Three quarters of the 168 rail services in the north of England suspended in June have been brought back online after a timetable change brought many lines across the country to a halt and enraged many public voices already highly critical of the country's largely privately-run rail system.

    A report seen by the British media estimated the financial cost of the cancellations at US$50 million, the majority of which, according to Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, has been borne by passengers in the country's north.

    "People's lives are being badly affected by this chaos and the Government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the plight of Northern commuters," Mr. Burnham said in statements reported by ITV.

    ​The United Kingdom's public rail system remained primarily in government hands until the Conservative government of John Major broke the system up into smaller regional franchises that were handed on to private operators.

    Continuous public anger over rising fares, over-crowding and the inefficiency of separately run franchises has fed into the electoral platform of the Labour Party, with leader Jeremy Corbyn pledging in the run-up to the 2017 general election that a government under his leadership would bring the British rail-system back under government control as the private operators' franchises expire. 

    Related:

    UK Rail Production Slump Result of Tories Outsourcing Public Contracts - Corbyn
    UK Rail Union Confirms Strike of Southern Rail's Guards in August
    Hong Kong State-Controlled Operator to Run UK Major Rail Network
    Blink of an Eye, Flick of a Finger: UK Considers Biometric Rail Tickets
    Tags:
    rail, privatization, disruption, nationalization, Sir John Major, Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Burnham, Theresa May, United Kingdom
    Community standardsDiscussion