Welsh rail to be nationalised

We have welcomed the decision of the Welsh government to bring rail services in Wales back into public ownership.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF's general secretary, said: 'This is very good news for passengers, for staff, and for the people of Wales. Privatisation – as everyone knows – hasn't worked. The railway is a natural monopoly, and a monopoly that should be run in the public, not the private, sector. As a public service rather than as an opportunity for a few people to make a private profit.

'The decision to privatise British Rail, taken by John Major's Tory government, was driven by ideology and was always bound to fail. For goodness sake, even that arch-privateer Margaret Thatcher, his predecessor in Downing Street, described rail as "a privatisation too far".

'Now governments in the United Kingdom are acknowledging the failure not just of the franchise model, but of privatisation, and we are delighted by the decision of the Welsh Labour government to do the right thing. And that's the right thing not just for those of us who work in the industry, but for passengers, for businesses, and for taxpayers, too.

'Although this decision has been announced in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, to protect services for passengers, to maintain jobs, and to keep the momentum of the Metro project, we hope that it sends a message to the governments at Holyrood and Westminster about the way forward for our industry.'

Transport for Wales Rail is currently run by Keolis Amey, which took over the franchise from Arriva in 2018; Transport for Wales is a not-for-profit company owned by the Welsh government.