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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

High speed derailment

The RMT rail union has denounced the scrapping of the eastern leg of the HS2 high-speed rail line, which the union says essentially tears up the Government’s levelling up agenda and its own climate change commitments. The Johnson government’s U-turn on key rail projects is a “great northern rail betrayal”. It’s a view also shared by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who said Labour was committed to the full HS2 proposals and Northern Powerhouse rail.

What we really need is a genuinely integrated transport system that can only come through public ownership. The re-nationalisation of British Airways and the bus and rail companies would enable future governments build an eco-friendly, integrated transport system across Britain. But it would require immense investment that can only come from the coffers of the state.

“Our climate and communities cannot afford false political choices between different rail projects when what we need is all these projects to go ahead and a historic mass investment in our railways that gets people out of cars and onto trains and public transport. But instead we get more Tory austerity, cut backs and attacks on rail workers’ jobs and rail services,” the RMT says. “Public transport investment pays for itself through the economic benefits it brings and it’s time the government took a proper long-term approach that reflects that fact.”