[2020] Motion 54 Public ownership of our railway

Composited motion

Received from:

Merged into composite 13

Congress notes the paramount role our railway has played during the Covid-19 pandemic in ensuring that key workers and goods are able to be transported across the country.

Congress believes that while the emergency measures agreements (EMAs) were essential in stopping our network grinding to a halt, they show the fragility and inherent problems of a fragmented and privatised railway.

The EMAs, and the concession model that the transport secretary has said he is looking to introduce, gives government more control over our railway than the franchise system. However, this new model also means that almost all financial risk sits with the taxpayer whilst private companies are still able to take profit out of our system.

Emergency measures agreements give an opportunity to make re-nationalising our railway even simpler, as franchise agreements have effectively already been ended.

Congress believes that our railway will play an essential role in our low-carbon economic recovery. Investment in infrastructure will create jobs, whilst making low- carbon transport even more efficient. When the pandemic ends, we will still need to get people and goods around our country while ensuring we meet our carbon emission targets.

Therefore at a time when the structure of our railway faces fundamental changes, Congress calls on the General Council to campaign for a fully publicly owned railway that doesn’t put all the risk with the taxpayer whilst allowing profits to leave our industry, and puts low-carbon transport at the heart of the economic recovery.