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Tories say privatising railways caused problems

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  • Ronald Dawson
    DepotNews.com NewsWire Tories say privatising railways caused problems Source: The Independent - London Publication date: 2001-01-01 THE CONSERVATIVES are to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2001
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      DepotNews.com NewsWire

      Tories say privatising railways caused problems
      Source: The Independent - London
      Publication date: 2001-01-01


      THE CONSERVATIVES are to accept that their 1994 privatisation programme has
      caused some of the rail industry's widespread problems.
      In making the admission in a new policy document they will stress that
      privatisation achieved increased investment, revenues and passengers, but
      they will accept that it "did not provide all the answers".

      In doing so they will accuse Labour of failing to build on the opportunities
      of privatisation during three and a half "wasted years" in power.

      The Conservative document, Believing in Britain's Railways, which will be
      issued for consultation later this month, sets out the party's vision for
      the long-term future of the industry. It says: "Privatisation created new
      opportunities for the railways, but it has also created new problems. In
      particular, an industry run by several different companies is very different
      from one run by one monolithic state corporation.

      "Faced with unexpected pressures of 33 per cent passenger growth and over
      1,300 extra services per day since privatisation, the challenges confronting
      the railways are enormous. While privatisation has opened up these new
      opportunities, with the benefit of hindsight, it can be seen that
      privatisation did not provide all the answers. Rail privatisation was
      unfinished business."

      The Conservatives' plan for a "simpler railway" includes establishing a
      National Rail Regulator, intended as an equivalent to the Civil Aviation
      Authority. They would also seek to encourage fewer and larger franchises for
      train operators.

      Railtrack operating zones would be harmonised with franchise boundaries to
      simplify the complex contractual relationships within the industry.

      A Labour spokesman said: "The Conservatives left a fragmented railway which
      had been starved of investment and this is the root cause of most of the
      problems we face today."

      Publication date: 2001-01-01
      © 2000, YellowBrix, Inc.
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