“Litany of problems” will remain despite Northern Rail renationalisation, says IEA


Government and Institutions
Press Release

Shanker Singham responds to the Prime Minister's speech

Responding to the news that Northern Rail will be brought back into public ownership from March 1, IEA Editorial and Research Fellow Professor Len Shackleton said:

“It is by no means clear that taking Northern Rail into public ownership will fix the litany of problems facing the rail network in the region.

“The physical infrastructure remains in poor condition after years of neglect, the rolling stock and staff will by and large remain the same, and industrial relations are strained. The timetabling issues affecting Northern Rail were exacerbated by delays in upgrading the key ‘Castlefield Corridor’, where government assurances of infrastructure improvements have not materialised.

“None of this is to deny that Arriva’s handling of the Northern franchise could have been better, but temporarily re-nationalising the franchise is only the beginning of trying to fix the problems with the nation’s rail network.”

Notes to editors

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The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

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