Days after German rail giant takes over Grand Central franchise, union rails against EU ‘open access’ to other routes
RMT members are this morning protesting outside the Department for Transport and the European Commission London Office against moves to expand its model for rail privatisation which has caused havoc in Britain and across the continent with no democratic mandate to do so.
The protest comes just days after German rail giant Deutsche Bahn took over the Grand Central franchise, paving the way for them to use the EU “open access” diktat to start running services on the East and West Coast routes.
The European Union now plans to repeal its rail directives and ‘recast’ them in order to ‘establish a single European railway area’ which will commit member states to handing over all publicly owned railways in Europe to big business.
More than twenty years ago on July 29 1991, the European Commission published its first infamous directive on railways and it was seized by John Major’s Tory government in 1992 as a blueprint to break up and privatise British Rail.
This EU privatisation model demanded a split between train operations and infrastructure and ‘open access’ rules in order to fragment the industry to force market mechanisms into what is a natural monopoly.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “EU rules have hugely fragmented the British rail network and ‘open access’ is allowing German rail giant DB to launch plans to run trains on both East and West Coast train lines following their takeover of the Grand Central franchise on Friday.
“Under rail privatisation in Britain subsidies have quadrupled, while profits for the monopolies running public transport have soared alongside rail fares.
“Now all EU member states must follow this disastrous model, creating the conditions for similar chaos to be let rip across Europe and beyond and there be an even stronger body of EU legislation preventing the renationalisation of Britain’s railway leaving us at the mercy of the profiteers for generations to come.”
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