5 November 2018
The Green Party renews calls to see Arriva stripped of Northern rail franchise as German rail giant seeks government bailout.
Arriva is in talks with the government as months of disruption has resulted in a drastic reduction in the financial performance of the franchise [Link: telegraph.co.uk - Paywall].
This comes a week after the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) announced another wave of strikes last week taking the total number of days to 43 since the current dispute over train guards started.
Northern is owned by Arriva, a subsidiary of German state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bank and operates a number of public transport franchise arrangements across the UK.
Natalie Bennett, the former leader of the Green Party hit out at the beleaguered operator saying: "This is no way to run a railway.
"Privatisation is a disastrously failed model. We need trains run for passengers not shareholders, and proper investment outside London.
“Delayed rail services have a real impact on people’s lives. I know that all too well from personal experience, and I regularly talk to fellow travellers who are arriving to work or getting home late on a daily basis or they are missing commitments. It really has got out of hand and something needs to be done now.”
Matt Edwards, a Green Party spokesperson added: "Rail commuters have suffered a year of misery caused by a broken system where different parts of our railway; trains, stations and infrastructure are run by separate companies who point the finger at each other when things go wrong.
"The British public have lost faith in our current system. An opinion poll by Sky earlier this year showed that 60% of people would support bringing the country's rail network back into public ownership. It's time the government follow their own advice and listen to will of the people."
The Green Party would bring the railways back into public ownership - a move that would pump far more investment into the infrastructure and bring down fares.