In the News

Northern Rail is nationalised

Geoff Riley

29th January 2020

The government has confirmed that Arriva will lose their Northern Rail franchisefrom the 1st of March 2020 as the UK government nationalises this part of the UK rail network.

The decision adds fuel to the fire over the debate on whether the entire rail industry should be taken back into state ownership and it is another uncomfortable punctuation mark in the history of the railways in the UK since the current system of private firms bidding for train operating franchises was introduced. I'm a frequent traveller on LNER (also now back in in the state system) and I'm hoping that running a railway for people rather than purely for profit will nudge Northern back to health. LNER staff certainly love their jobs, the quality of service is nearly always excellent. Northern must cope with an antiquated network and delays to the introduction of new rolling stock.

Nationalisation of Northern is part of an even more significant decision facing the government - namely whether to commit fully to HS2 or allocate funds to making numerous smaller improvements to the existing network and adding local routes. My heart sings when a new route is given the go-ahead, it brings communities together and gives us an option to leave the care behind or get rid of the vehicle all together!

We have produced a revision video on the economics of rail nationalisation here

Economics of Rail Nationalisation (A Level Economics Revision)

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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