Labour attacks Tories over “disregard for the North”
LABOUR has attacked the Government over its record on the railways, claiming that the number of cancelled or significantly late trains has increased by 50% since 2010.
The party produced its analysis on September 3, when leader Jeremy Corbyn travelled across the proposed route of the ‘Crossrail for the North’ project.
Drawing from previously released official statistics, Labour also said that punctuality (based on the Public Performance Measure, PPM) has fallen from 91.5% of trains arriving on time in 2010 to 87.8% now, and that the proportion of passengers who believe the punctuality of their train services was satisfactory or good has fallen from 82% in 2010 to 72% in 2018.
Labour also analysed levels of overcrowding, predicting that the top ten most overcrowded trains would have load factors of 207.9% by 2022.
However, this figure takes the average growth in loadings (claimed to be 4.04%) per year and projects it forward to 2022, and does not take into account the slowing demand in some areas such as London and the South East.
Corbyn promised a Labour government would bring Britain’s railways into public ownership “so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit”.
Speaking of his visit to the North, Corbyn said: “The rail chaos unleashed by the Tories on the north of England shows their utter disregard for people living in the towns and cities in the North.
“For decades northern communities have received only a fraction of the transport investment that is spent in London and the South East. Labour will put this right by building Crossrail for the North, connecting the great cities of the north of England to unlock huge untapped potential.
“People’s lives are being badly affected by this chaos, and the Government needs to recognise that rail privatisation has failed. Labour will end this rip-off and bring our railways into public ownership so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.”
The Conservative Party had not responded to Labour’s claims as this issue of RAIL went to press.
Corbyn: “People’s lives are being badly affected by this chaos.”