Labour will re-nationalise the railways should they win the next general election, the party’s shadow transport minister has announced.

The opposition are currently holding their annual conference in Liverpool, unveiling a series of policy proposals in an attempt to persuade the public to vote for Keir Starmer’s party ahead of the Conservative government of Liz Truss. This morning (September 26), Louise Haigh, shadow transport minister, has made a key announcement.

The MP for Sheffield Heeley has confirmed that Labour will re-nationalise the railways should they come to power. Currently, the rail system is set up on a franchise basis, where private operators bid for contracts to run services.

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However, since the pandemic, many areas have had services nationalised on a de-facto basis because the private firms running services on the routes failed to hit key standards. Now, Louise Haigh says this will become a permanent fixture under a Labour government.

She told the conference in Liverpool: “Labour in power will bring our railways back into public ownership as contracts expire — because we believe in a public transport system where power is in the hands of the public.

“A system that serves – above all else – the public interest, where lower fares, and more reliable services help reverse the spiral of decline. A system that can deliver economic, social and climate justice.”

The Conservative Party Conference begins in Birmingham on Sunday, October 2.

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