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Briefing: Publicly-owned railways

Today the Conservatives announced a pledge to enact a real-term freeze affecting about half of all rail fares if they win the election. Prime Minister David Cameron said the move - extending a freeze currently in place - would save an average rail commuter £400 between now and 2020. Labour's shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher said rail fares overall had risen by 20% on average since 2010, while services had worsened for “hard-pressed commuters.”

But neither party raised the issue of bringing the railways back into public ownership, a move that would be supported by two thirds of the British people, according to a poll commissioned by Class. This briefing will make the case for publicly-owned railways, as well as examining the damage privatisation has done to the UK’s rail system.