RMT Transport Manifesto - for a golden age for our railways
TAKING THE railways back into public ownership, ending the London Underground PPP and asking big business to pay towards the cost of transport could usher in a golden age for public transport, Britain's biggest rail union says today.
RMT's ten-point plan for the next ten years would yield more than £10 billion in savings and revenues that would allow the government to expand the railways, put staff back on stations and introduce a fairer fares policy. RMT says that:
1. an immediate windfall tax on the excess profits of rolling-stock companies;
2. taking train operating companies, train renewals, Network Rail and the rolling-stock companies back into public ownership, and;
3. bringing forward legislation to end the London Underground PPP would release funds totalling £10.56 billion over the next ten years. This could be reinvested in our public transport network to;
4. provide half of the funding for and thereby allow work to begin on Crossrail;
5. save 56 community rail lines around the country which are currently under threat;
6. fully staff 1,000 stations that currently have no staff so that nearly every station on the network would be staffed, and;
7. cover the cost of the East London Line extensions allowing already agreed funding to be released for other transport projects;
8. Businesses are one of the main beneficiaries of public transport but make little or no financial contribution. We propose a transport tax on business to ensure they pay their fair share. The money raised would;
9. help fund a fairer fares policy, including a national rail card and;
10. help fund new rail infrastructure including adequate rail capacity to the government?s plans for sustainable communities in the Thames gateway, Milton Keynes-South Midlands, Ashford and London-Stansted-Cambridge.
"Britain's rail policy is facing in the wrong direction, yet the silence on transport during this election from the leaders of the three main parties has been deafening," RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.
"That is why we are launching this manifesto today.
"Privatisation means that huge resources are being taken out of the railway industry and that rail is in a downward spiral of service cuts, job losses and ludicrously expensive fares.
"Our proposals would not only reverse that decline but would begin creating the modern, efficient, attractive, cheap to use and environmentally friendly rail network that Britain is crying out for.
"The billions saved by bringing rail back into the public sector and ending the disastrous PPP on London Underground would bring us a huge rail rebate that would help bring Britain?s railways into the 21st century.
"Asking businesses to pay their share towards the transport projects they benefit from is already the norm in great cities like Paris and New York - and the whole economy would benefit in the long run.
"We will be welcoming our 25 Rail Against Privatisation marchers into London on Saturday, two weeks after they left Glasgow.
"The message they have received, loud and clear, all along the way, is that Britain wants a publicly owned railway.
"It is what rail users want, it is what the unions want and it is what the Labour Party overwhelmingly voted for.
"It is about time that choice was put before the British people," Bob Crow said.
To download a PDF of the RMT Transport manifesto, including tables and notes, click here