Responding to the government's announcement today (Monday, 21 September) that the rail franchise system has been ended, Unite national officer for rail Harish Patel said:

 “Rail franchising has been broken beyond repair for years but the Covid-19 pandemic has finally forced the government to accept the inevitable.

 “However, yet again the government is failing to act decisively, allowing private providers to continue to profit by receiving huge amounts of taxpayers' money.  This is simply unacceptable.

 “Instead of the proposed new model which will allow privateers a renewed opportunity to feed off the taxpayer and passengers, the government should be permanently renationalising rail services to increase services, improve punctuality and reduce tickets prices.”


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.