top of page

All Aboard the Labour Express

26 April 2024
| by Field Team

The Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh MP, announced a new Labour rail policy this week, hailing it as "the biggest reform of our railways for a generation". See below for Field's analysis.

There is nothing like the quintessential British experience of rail travel, yet too often these days, passengers find themselves beset by delays, cancellations, and fares that seemingly have a mind of their own. But fear not commuters of 2024, relief may be on the horizon with Labour announcing an ambitious plan to nationalise most of the train network within five years – if they win the next election.  

Enter Louise Haigh, Labour's very own champion of the people. This week Haigh publicly declared that nationalisation is the ticket to paradise, or at least to trains that run on time. Sure, there may be hurdles along the way, but fear not, for Haigh is on a mission to deliver us from the clutches of chaos and into the warm embrace of state-run efficiency. 

Under the banner of "the biggest reform of our railways for a generation", Labour has pitched its bold proposal to create Great British Railways (GBR), a public entity set to inherit private contracts as they expire.

But wait there's a catch, or rather, a strategic omission and we don’t just mean the fact the word nationalisation doesn’t appear in the plan. While Labour is keen to nationalise passenger services, freight and rolling stock companies are left to fend for themselves. Why bother with a comprehensive overhaul when you can cherry-pick the bits you like and leave the rest for another day?

Yet, despite the selective approach, trade unions have been seen cheering at the news. Mick Lynch and Mick Whelan are practically doing cartwheels, heralding Labour's plan as a victory for the working class. Who knew that reclaiming the railways could spark such jubilation?

And as for public opinion? Well, recent You Gov polls suggest that the British public is more than ready to jump aboard the nationalisation of trains. With as many as 37% of people ‘strongly’ supporting it, and 32% in favour of ‘tending to support’, Labour's electoral prospects seem to be shining brighter than a sunny day in June. 

So, as Labour lays down the tracks for a brave new era for the railways, let's raise a cup of tea to Louise Haigh and her group of re-nationalisation enthusiasts and sit back, relax, and let the government take wheel or is it a control stick or a button…either way it’s set to be a brave new world.

bottom of page