News that the Labour Party has toughened its stance on rail and bus networks in a bid to create a fairer and more passenger-orientated system for commuters has been welcomed in Bath.
In an interview with the New Statesman, the shadow secretary of state for transport Michael Dugher said that his priority was to reintroduce the public sector to sections of the rail network in a bid to give a voice to the travelling public over the way services are run.
Michael Dugher said: “I’m adamant that the public sector will be running sections of our rail network as soon as we can do that.
“I’m also adamant about putting the whole franchising system, as it stands today, in the bin.
“We’re going to have a proper review, we’re going to rip up the old model of franchising and I want to see more public control in terms of the running of the railways.”
“We’re talking about reviewing franchising, full stop. I think it’s time to rip up franchising as it stands today. I don’t think it’s been a success and I think we’ve got to take a very big look across the piece.
“But I also want to see, and I’m going to be honest and proud about this, I want there to be more public control of the railways and we should just say it because actually that’s what the public think as well.”
Bath Labour’s parliamentary candidate Ollie Middleton welcomed Michael’s comments, hailing his vision as a triumph for commuters.
Ollie said: “What we have seen since 2010 is commuters in and out of Bath hit by massive rail fare hikes – up to 25% – and the service they have been receiving has been getting worse and worse.
“A Labour government will not only fix the broken transport networks, it will introduce new measures to make sure passengers have a strong voice in making important decisions about the way trains and buses are run”.