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Alistair Strathern backs sweeping reforms to get Hitchin’s railways back on track

PRESS RELEASE FROM ALISTAIR STRATHERN MP

THURSDAY 25 APRIL 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Alistair Strathern MP, Labour’s candidate for Hitchin, has pledged to get local train services back on track, by backing Labour’s new plans to overhaul Britain’s broken railways.


This comes after fresh research reveals cancellations by LNER in the East of England are nearly five times worse than the national average.


Since 2016, services cancelled by LNER have risen by faced a huge 295%. A tiny 48% of LNER trains were on time during the key October-December last year. 


Cancellations have skyrocketed by 61% across Britain since 2016, with only 62% of services on time from October to December last year.


Labour will fold existing private passenger rail contracts into Great British Railways as they expire, without the taxpayer paying a penny in compensation costs, as part of a publicly owned and passenger focused railway.


Alistair Strathern MP, Labour’s candidate for the new Hitchin constituency said:

“For too long passengers using Hitchin and Arlesey stations have been let down by unreliable and overcrowded train services.


“We need to fix Britain’s railways for good and end passenger misery.


“That’s why I am supporting Labour’s plans to create Great British Railways - a new,

publicly owned and expert-led body to run our railways and put the passenger first."


Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Transport said:

“Labour will deliver the biggest overhaul in our railways for a generation, ending the deepening crisis and chaos that passengers have been forced to endure in recent years.


“Underinvestment, fragmentation, inefficiency, waste and 14 years of tinkering by Conservative Ministers have left our railways unfit to meet the demands of modern Britain. 


“Under Labour, a publicly owned and controlled railway will focus on what matters to passengers.”


During its first term, a Labour Government would:

· Put the passenger first, by delivering a best-price ticket guarantee for passengers, and rolling out automatic delay repay and digital season tickets across the network

· Establish a powerful new passenger watchdog, the Passenger Standards Authority, to hold Great British Railways to account for passengers

· Deliver significant savings to the taxpayer by eliminating fragmentation, waste, bureaucracy and by stopping profits leaking out to private operators

· Create a unified, publicly owned, accountable and arm’s length Great British Railways, which will be led by rail experts, not Whitehall

· Expect to complete the transition to public ownership within the first term of a Labour Government, by folding existing private passenger rail contracts into the new body as they expire, without the taxpayer paying a penny in compensation costs

· Give devolved leaders, including Mayoral Combined Authorities, a statutory role in the rail network, allowing decisions about the railways to be taken closer to the communities they serve

· Support successful open access and freight operators to continue to deliver, and set clear objectives and targets for passenger services and freight growth


Editors’ Notes:

Full policy document, ‘Getting Britain Moving: Labour’s Plan to Fix Britain’s Railways’ is available here: www.labour.org.uk/get-britain-moving 


ENDS


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