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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 April, 2005, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Rally for rail renationalisation
Railway workers
The government says rail renationalisation is unaffordable
Rail workers have held a rally in Glasgow as part of a series of demonstrations calling for renationalisation of the railways.

The Rail Maritime and Transport union will be holding similar events in 14 UK cities over the next two weeks, ending in London on 30 April.

They are aimed at putting pressure on parties in the run-up to the election.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "Public ownership of the railways will provide a better deal for travellers."

Bright orange

He added: "Public ownership will allow proper transport planning to cope with increased demand for travel due to new developments and the need to reduce road traffic to get cleaner air."

Saturday's march began in St Enoch Square where speakers, including Bob Crow and the general secretary of the Scottish TUC, Bill Speirs, addressed the crowd.

The walkers set off dressed in bright orange and yellow high-visibility clothing as worn by staff on the railways.

They will cover part of the route to London on foot but will also use coaches.

The demonstrators were supported by the Silkwood Colliery Band.

Party policies

When protest action was announced last month the Department for Transport said bringing the railways back under public control was not affordable.

It said the government's position had been set out in the Future of Transport white paper in July 2004.

In their manifesto, the Liberal Democrats say privatisation "left the railways in a mess."

They say they will have fewer, larger rail franchises with longer contracts.

The Conservatives say they will free "rail and bus companies to invest and innovate."

They say: "The growth in rail travel reflects the fact that the sector has been better able to respond to people's choices since its return to the private sector."





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SEE ALSO:
Disruption as rail staff strike
25 Mar 05 |  Merseyside
Unions defeat Labour in rail vote
28 Sep 04 |  UK Politics


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