Rachael Maskell MP
Rachael Maskell MP

Rachael Maskell MP has pledged to get local train services back on track by backing Labour’s plans to overhaul Britain’s broken railways.

This comes after Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh MP, announced Labour’s detailed plans to reform Britain’s railways. 

Labour’s plans to get Britain moving are crucial to delivering our missions for Government by boosting productivity and driving growth. A growing economy and public services fit for the future need a modern transport system to support the flow of people and goods across the country.

Under the Conservatives Britain’s broken rail network is simply not delivering: cancellations have soared to record high levels, fares have risen almost twice as fast as wages since 2010, and strikes are costing taxpayers £25m for every day they go ahead, whilst taxpayers fork out huge subsidies to pay for trains that are overcrowded, delayed or cancelled.

Labour will fold existing private passenger rail contracts into Great British Railways as they expire, without the taxpayer paying a penny in compensation costs, as part of a publicly owned and passenger focused railway.

Labour’s plans mean an end to the misery passengers across York face on a weekly basis.

Since 2016 passengers in Yorkshire and the Humber have faced a huge average increase of 300% in cancelled services since 2016,[i] and only 45% of trains were on time in October-December last year. [ii]

This compares to a shocking 61% increase in cancellations across Britain since 2016, with only 62% of services on time in October-December last year. 

During its first term, a Labour Government would: 

  • Put the passenger first, by delivering a best-price ticket guarantee for passengers, and rolling out automatic delay repay and digital season tickets across the network
  • Establish a powerful new passenger watchdog, the Passenger Standards Authority, to hold Great British Railways to account for passengers
  • Deliver significant savings to the taxpayer by eliminating fragmentation, waste, bureaucracy and by stopping profits leaking out to private operators
  • Create a unified, publicly owned, accountable and arm’s length Great British Railways, which will be led by rail experts, not Whitehall
  • Expect to complete the transition to public ownership within the first term of a Labour Government, by folding existing private passenger rail contracts into the new body as they expire, without the taxpayer paying a penny in compensation costs
  • Give devolved leaders, including Mayoral Combined Authorities, a statutory role in the rail network, allowing decisions about the railways to be taken closer to the communities they serve
  • Support successful open access and freight operators to continue to deliver, and set clear objectives and targets for passenger services and freight growth

Labour’s plans mean delivering a unified, publicly owned rail within the first term of a Labour Government, as franchises are brought in house as contracts expire, meaning taxpayers won’t pay a penny in compensation costs.

Rachael Maskell MP for York Central says:
“York as a rail city knows how important nationalising the rail network is, bringing track and trains together under one public body.

“Labour’s reforms will save £1.5bn a year after the first 5 years. Rail privatisation has failed, it has cost passengers more in paying for more unreliable services, whilst ultimately, the taxpayer has to step in once private companies fail to deliver what they promise, as has happened with LNER, Northern and Transpennine Express.

“It is worth noting, that whilst under public ownership, LNER has turned its performance around and passengers, encouraged by its reliability, choose to return to rail. We need this to happen across the board.

“Ticket prices are too high and need to be much more affordable to give more people the choice to travel by rail.

“I was instrumental in writing Labour’s plans for the public ownership of rail in 2019 and am proud of that work, which has stood the test of time as a basis to reform Britain’s railways and will be a key pledge from Labour for the next General Election.” 



Full policy document, ‘Getting Britain Moving: Labour’s Plan to Fix Britain’s Railways’ is available here: labour.org.uk/get-britain-moving

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