Following the Office of Rail and Road finding that ‘systemic failings’ have been the cause of the huge problems with new timetables on the Northern and Govia Thameslink Railway franchises, Ellie Harrison was invited to address the question ‘should we bring back British Rail?’ on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show.
Bring Back British Rail campaign founder Ellie Harrison was interviewed by Johanna Ross for Sputnik News, following Chris Grayling’s acknowledgement that ‘systemic failings’ are the cause of the many problems on our privatised rail network. Isn’t that what we’ve been saying for the last nine years?
On 16 May 2018, one month after we launched our Crowd Justice campaign to take Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to court over his handling of the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise fiasco, it was announced in the media that the route would be ‘re-nationalised’, as LNER (London North Eastern Railway) from 24 June 2018.
Success! Or is it? It later emerged that the new LNER franchise (unlike ‘East Coast’, which ran the line from 2009-15 and was wholly publicly-owned by the Department for Transport), would be run by a consortium of private companies: Arup, Ernst & Young and SNC-Lavalin.
Our legal action continues. Our lawyers have now written to Government for a forth time: to request further information about the new LNER arrangement, as well as the ongoing review of the suitability of Stagecoach and Virgin to retain their franchise ‘Passports’, given the dramatic failure of their Virgin Trains East Coast operation after just three years.
Thanks to all 907 people who have so far pledged support on Crowd Justice. Together we have already had a huge impact on events. Please continue to join this historic action.
Pledge and share our case page today: crowdjustice.com/case/eastcoast
Our Lawyers’ Letters
• 5 March 2018: Leigh Day to Department for Transport
• 16 April 2018: Leigh Day to Department for Transport (Pre-Action Protocol)
• 15 May 2018: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 1 June 2018: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 17 July 2018: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
Our Case in the News
Enough is enough! Our East Coast mainline was a brilliant success in public-ownership and should never have been re-privatised in 2015. Now it has failed for the third time at the hands of private operators: GNER in 2007, National Express in 2009 and now Virgin Trains East Coast in 2018.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has admitted that Virgin Trains East Coast “got its numbers wrong” and breached “a key financial covenant” in their franchise agreement. Yet, he is allowing its owners – Stagecoach and Virgin – to walk away and continue running and bidding for other rail franchises. We can’t let them get away with this.
We’re now working with public law experts Leigh Day to bring Chris Grayling to court to account for these decisions. We expect this to be a landmark Judicial Review case; exposing the farce of rail franchising for the shameful waste of public money that it is, and paving the way to a re-unified national rail network run in the public’s interest once again.
Please pledge and share today: crowdjustice.com/case/eastcoast
2018 year is bittersweet. We’re commemorating 70 years since our railways were unified and nationalised as ‘British Railways‘, as well commiserating 25 years since the disastrous 1993 Railways Act, which paved the way to the fragmented mess of privatisation that we have now.
These contrasting anniversaries show that times can, and do, change. In the last nine years since our campaign was founded in July 2009, we have been central in transforming the national debate, taking the re-nationalisation of our railways from a taboo topic to mainstream policy. Now we’re sure it’s only a matter of time until we realise our dream.
We’re working with our friends at We Own It and many other partners to campaign for our East Coast mainline to be brought back into public ownership, permanently.
Please sign the petition here: weownit.org.uk/east-coast
This Christmas we’re working with Teemill on some new Bring Back British Rail merchandise, available as jumpers, hoodies, t-shirts, tote bags and tea towels! All ethically sourced organic cotton with proceeds going to support our volunteer-run campaign for rail re-nationalisation founded in 2009.
Order at: bringbackbritishrail.teemill.com
With free delivery if you order by midnight on Sunday 3 December 2017
21st November 2017 | News
This summer Bring Back British Rail contributed ideas to this new Report by TSSA and Commonweal as part of our ongoing campaign for the Public Ownership of Scotland’s Railway launched in September 2014.
Please support the Report Launch on Tuesday 28 November 2017, 11am-1pm
Serenity Cafe Meeting Room
8 Jacksons Entry
12th October 2017 | News
This summer, the Department for Transport scrapped plans to electrify railways across South Wales and the north of England, meaning we’ll be stuck with filthy diesel trains for years to come.
On 3-4 January 2017, commuters return to work as train fares continue to rise. We’re teaming up with We Own It and Action For Rail to organise two nationwide days of action (in England on 3rd, Scotland on 4th) to protest against higher fares, reduced staffing and demand the public ownership of our railways now!
Protests are taking place at more than one hundred stations up-and-down the country. Please see the Action for Rail website for details and come out and join us!
Main England Actions
Tuesday 3rd January 2017, 8am
• London King’s Cross Station
• Manchester Piccadilly Station
Main Scotland Action
Wednesday 5th January 2017, 5pm
• Glasgow Central Station