Site for the Renationalisation of British Rail

I found the following advert on the back page of Private Eye’s issue for the first fortnight in May last year (2015).

Bring Back BR pic

I tried out the website, and yes, as I write Bring Back British Rail is still going at the web address, bringbackbritishrail.org. If you go there, you’ll find a petition, which you can sign requesting the government to renationalise and unify the railway. I’ve signed it, because I’m heartily fed up with the many times I’ve spent waiting for delayed trains. During the 1970’s and ’80s, British Rail was frequently the butt of jokes on comedy programmes like the Two Ronnies. The nationalised rail service had a reputation for running late, poor service and quite appalling food. Its privatisation under John Major was supposed to sort all that out.

In fact the opposite happened. The service has continued to deteriorate. It is still marred by delays and poor maintenance. Moreover, the actually cost to the public has increased. The British taxpayer is now paying more in subsidies to the privatised rail companies that it did under British Rail. I can also remember talking to a disgusted railway instructor about 20 years ago, who was appalled at how the service had declined. He maintained that in the last days of British Rail, when the service was managed under the slogan Operating For Quality the railways were more efficient than at any time since they were nationalised. That achievement was wiped out after it was privatised.

He was also disgusted with the evasions and stonewalling given to the victims and the families of the victims of several major rail disasters. He stated that under British Rail, when accidents like these occurred, the company admitted responsibility, then set to work to correct the errors and failures that had produced them. After privatisation, the network was split into at least five major train operators, as well as a separate company that owned the track. And each one was passing the buck to the other after these disasters, so that it had been five years after one very serious accident, and the responsibility for the crash had still not been settled, let alone compensation for the injured and bereaved.

He was as disgusted as you or I.

So, I signed the petition. If you have a similar design to reverse this particular failure of John Major’s time at Number Ten, please feel free to go to the above site and add your name.

I think the food on sale at railway stations has improved, though. But it’s the only thing that has.

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