Sunday, February 22, 2009

Keep Metro public

One of the few Labour MPs with any principles, Jim Cousins, has raised an Early Day Motion, EDM 792, calling for the Tyne & Wear Metro to avoid the greedy clutches of privatisation. The interesting thing about the EDM is the remarkable dearth of North East MPs - only three North East MPs have signed up to the EDM.

The PR bods at Nexus have been desperate to deny there's privatisation afoot, but any effort to move a function of the Metro infrastructure from the public to the private sector is privatisation.

I fail to see any benefit privatisation of the Metro would bring for the people of Tyne & Wear. Given the current economic climate, presumably the financing would have to come from government, either directly or roundabout via bailed-out banks. As the EDM describes, bidders include corporations from Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Germany, which means a key part of our local transport infrastrucure will be in the hands of board room directors in other countries.

Our national rail system is a shambles and the disastrous Metronet farce in London illustrate just how poor privatised rail can be.

Given that public transport systems like Metro also feature heavily in policies aimed at reducing car use and reducing climate changing emissions, it's irresponsible to hand it over to external bodies.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Doesn't this government ever learn from its mistakes?
So we sell the Metro off at a pittance, give the money back in subsidies, then sit back and watch while fares go up (even more!) to pay foreign shareholders.
Great plan.