Bedford Burrow & Other Curious Stuff

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Re-nationalise the railways? Not if the EU have their way.

So you’re in favour of re-nationalising the railways. After twenty years of privatisation you’d better have a look at the EU’s fourth railway package.

You’ve never heard of it? Not surprising really. I can’t imagine either of the EU campaigns will have a problem with it and probably wont even mention it in their respective campaigns. It might be one of the few bits of EU legislation they could agree on.

The fourth railway package is going to make it impossible for any re-nationalisation of the UK rail system. Dodgy Dave and Belligerent Bendy Boris will welcome anything that helps their friends milk our essential public services for profit.

It gets even better for their friends. The fourth railway package opens up the European rail system to the profiteers. Private train operators will be able to tender to run trains in any EU member state by 2019. What a bonanza.

The fourth railway package makes it illegal for any EU member state to protect their national railways from the profiteers. And that means that nationalisation is going to be impossible.

And, because most passenger services in the EU are now run by nationalised companies that’s going to be a big change.

Here in the UK it will mean that a return to a nationalised railway system is going to be very difficult, if not impossible.

The RMT are opposed to privatisation, rightly so, and they are advising their members to vote Leave. They believe there will be an all-out assault on pay, pensions and jobs for rail workers. Passengers will not be exempt from the effects as fares will rise in a race for profits.

The European mainland don’t know what is in store for them. Enormous fares and standing room only, not to mention the minefield of buying the right ticket, for the right train.

Good luck with that project Europe.


26 Apr 2016 Posted by | EU | | Leave a comment

#CarolineLucas MP brings Railway Bill to Parliament

cdc57710f8d28b0c20af814b78899ff5Caroline Lucas today introduces a Bill to bring the rail network back into public hands and claims it could save taxpayers up to £1 billion a year. It will and lead to lower fares and better services, Caroline claimed.

The Railways Bill, due its Second Reading in Parliament later today, would bring the rail network into public ownership step by step. When franchises come up for expiry, or private companies break the terms of their franchise agreements, they would revert to the control of a public body.

Support for public ownership of the railways remains strong both among the public and, increasingly, in Parliament.

The Labour Party, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership,  has belatedly committed itself “to a publicly owned railway as the best way to secure a fair deal for rail passengers and taxpayer’. In fact both Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are co-sponsors of the Bill.

TransportCaroline is putting forward a long-term Green Party policy commitment, and welcomes the support of Labour Members for her Bill.

Caroline presents her bill to Parliament after another week of chaos on the trains in her hometown of Brighton. At a meeting with the Department for Transport on Monday she urged Ministers to redouble efforts to improve the creaking rail network.

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Rail users are sick and tired of paying astronomical prices for a service that simply isn’t up to scratch. We have to put up with overcrowded trains, unreliable services, and we spend up to six times as much on rail tickets as other European passengers.

“The irony is that some of the biggest profiteers are the state-owned rail companies of our European neighbours. Taxpayers’ money that should be reinvested into services is ending up in the hands of overseas shareholders. By taking back each franchise when it expires, the Government could save up to £1 billion a year every year.

“It’s time to end this rip-off and bring our railways back into public ownership.

“This isn’t a call for a throwback to a ‘70s British Rail. The modern, efficient, clean, affordable services enjoyed in other parts of Europe offer a much better blueprint than our own past.”

22 Jan 2016 Posted by | Bedford Green Party, National Greens | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Report reveals UK will not meet climate change targets with new runways

A Green Party report reveals that the UK will not meet its climate change targets if David Cameron goes ahead with a new runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or anywhere in the South-East of England.

Airport Expansion Doesn’t Make Climate Sense provides a fresh perspective on the airport expansion debate. It offers alternatives to new runways that a climate-sensitive government should pursue; including moving many short-haul flight passengers onto existing rail services and taxing very frequent flyers.

The report’s key messages are

  • that airport expansion does not make climate sense,
  • the current expansion debate offers a false choice
  • the UK cannot make its contribution to cutting carbon emissions whilst expanding its airports and increasing emissions from aviation.

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett said:

Airport Expansion Doesn’t Make Climate Sense demonstrates how the current expansion argument is offering a false choice. Debating between Gatwick or Heathrow masks the reality that the UK has to reduce air passenger numbers, not increase them.

“The report highlights a number of ways to halt the apparent need for airport expansion, including the introduction of a frequent flyer tax which would tax aviation much more fairly.”

Bennett added:

“David Cameron and the London Mayoral candidates must explain how it’s possible to build a new runway while meeting the UK’s targets for cutting emissions. This report shows it isn’t.”

Sian Berry, the Green Party’s candidate for the 2016 London Mayoral election, who is speaking at an anti-Heathrow expansion rally at Trafalgar Square on Saturday said:

“Bigger airports make no climate sense. We cannot increase our emissions from aviation while making a fair contribution to keeping global warming within safe limits. How can the Prime Minister convince delegates at the Paris climate talks he’s serious if he goes there while wanting a new runway?

“The Greens are the only party with the clear message that we need no new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or anywhere in the South-East of England. It’s our job to convince the government to end this false choice debate, trying to pit communities against each other over which airport to expand and who should suffer the increased pollution and noise that would result.”

10 Oct 2015 Posted by | National Greens | , | Leave a comment

Cycling and walking key to relieving Tube crush says Green Party leader |

“We want to make it possible for walking and cycling to account for most short distance journeys, so fewer people will want or need to use the Tube,” said Ms Bennett, who is contesting the seat of Holborn and St Pancras in Thursday’s general election.

via Cycling and walking key to relieving Tube crush says Green Party leader |

5 May 2015 Posted by | National Greens | , , , | Leave a comment


18 Apr 2015 Posted by | Bedford Green Party, National Greens | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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