Corbyn insists train problems can be fixed by nationalisation

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
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The number of trains that are cancelled or significantly late has risen by 50 per cent since 2010, according to the Labour Party.

Overcrowding has also risen by more than 25 per cent on the top 10 most packed peak-time routes, the party insisted as Labour described the situation as “Tory rail mayhem”.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is today travelling the proposed route of Crossrail for the North between Liverpool and Hull to highlight Labour’s plans for the rolling renationalisation of the railways.

Speaking ahead of a day of campaigning, Mr Corbyn said: “The rail chaos unleashed by the Tories on the North of England shows their utter disregard for people living in the towns and cities in the North.

“For decades, northern communities have received only a fraction of the transport investment that is spent in London and the South East.

“Labour will put this right by building Crossrail for the North, connecting the great cities of the north of England to unlock huge untapped potential.

“People’s lives are being badly affected by this chaos and the Government needs to recognise that rail privatisation has failed.

“Labour will end this rip-off and bring our railways into public ownership so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.

“The overcrowding, delays and cancellations on our railways is fast becoming a national disgrace thanks to the Tories.

“With fares up set to go up by 36 per cent since 2010, it’s clear that passengers are paying more for less under the Tories.”

The Government defended its transport spending.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We are spending over £13bn through to 2020 to transform transport across the North, the biggest investment any government in history has ever made.

“We are committed to northern investment, which is why we are investing £3bn upgrading the TransPennine route and providing an extra 500 carriages with space for 40,000 extra passengers and 2,000 additional services each week.

“The Government is also committed to developing Northern Powerhouse Rail. We have given Transport for the North £60m to develop proposals for the scheme, alongside £300m to ensure HS2 can accommodate future NPR services. Transport for the North is currently working to produce a business case for Northern Powerhouse by the end of 2018.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance insists that HS2, which would directly link London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester, should be scrapped.

The Alliance claims that dropping the scheme could free up around £50bn to improve transport links across the country.

To challenge Ministers, it has launched The Great British Transport Competition which asks people across the UK to submit ideas for transport infrastructure projects. The winning bids will be professionally costed and presented to Government.

Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “HS2 is already over budget, behind schedule and will only benefit a handful of rail users. It should be scrapped but the big question is how best to spend taxpayers’ money on transport infrastructure.”