Northumberland backs the idea of bringing the railways back into public ownership

The majority of Gazette readers believe our railways should be brought back into public ownership.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 9:47 pm
Alnmouth Railway Station pictured at its blooming best. Picture by Jane Coltman

We asked for your views on the future of the network as protests were held against the annual increase in fares, which new research suggested the cost has risen twice as fast as wages during the last decade.

Of the 790 votes cast at the time of writing, 82% of people say backed the idea that the running of the railways should be brought back into public ownership.

Among those to comment was Lynne Russell, who said: “Grant Shapps, transport minister, talked a load of rubbish on TV this morning.

“After saying he was going to make huge improvements this year, it turned out to be another paper review with no clout.

“He 'backtracked' when put on the spot. I'll be amazed if any improvements are made.”

Paul Sands Turnbull said: “A disaster, it would be a retrograde step.

“Most delays are due to issue with track and signalling which are state-run.”

Jan L'Argent added: “British Rail was a disaster, why would anyone want to get worse than we have now?

“But the railways definitely need reform.

“Currently the rail infrastructure, that is rails, signals and everything that allows trains to operate is run by a nationalised industry known as Network Rail.

“Their inability to keep to maintenance schedules and manage upgrades is contributing to the failures of the trains.”

Wendy Gibson wrote: “Swiss rail is a good example of well-run nationalisation.

“I choose nationalisation if it modernises and puts passengers first.”