YP Letters: The public back rail renationalisation, so let's be radical

From: Matt Edwards, Local Party Coordinator, Bradford District Green Party.

Strikes and cancellations will hit the region hard this weekend

On Monday, Labour members were out across the country handing out flyers about their plans to renationalise the railways.

As a representative of the Green Party, I wholeheartedly support the idea of a rail network which is run in the interest of commuters – not shareholders (this letter was started on the delayed 16.30 from Huddersfield to Leeds).

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Railway commuters, especially those across Bradford, have had a raw deal thanks to a combination of rising fares (3.5 per cent next year!), chronically-unreliable services and antiquated trains well past their use-by date.

However, I am not alone in this opinion.

A poll carried out by Sky earlier this year revealed that 60 per cent of people supported bringing the railways back under public ownership – and this was before the May timetable fiasco.

It’s clear that the majority of us are already in favour of this idea, which raises the question, who are Labour trying to convince?

This isn’t leading the 
Opposition, but following it far behind.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. Since becoming Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn and his shadow cabinet have failed to take the initiative with any genuinely radical policies.

Despite boasting of their environmental credentials, Labour MPs voted in favour of a new runway at Heathrow, Labour councillors here in Bradford have continued to approve planning applications that will bring misery to local people – the Keighley incinerator to choose a prominent example – and Labour Party as a whole has failed to offer any opposition to a Tory hard Brexit.

If Labour want to convince people they are truly radical, they need to stand up for genuinely radical policies.

Until then, the Green Party will continue to champion genuinely transformative policies that will benefit our entire country such as the universal basic income, a land value tax, a four-day working week and an economy focused around protecting our environment, small businesses and our communities.

From: Jenny Eaves, Balby, Doncaster.

Theresa May’s rail review (The Yorkshire Post, September 5) would be well-advised to consider scrapping HS2. The route will travel through much of South Yorkshire but provide almost zero benefit to anyone living here as we won’t have a dedicated station.