Fight for a workers’ plan for public transport


Link to this page:

From The Socialist, November 24, 2021

Iain Dalton, Socialist Party of Yorkshire

In an announcement that surprised no one on November 18, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the HS2 east route from Birmingham to Leeds would be canceled. The prolonged death of this part of the project will be the source of elation for some of the activists along the route.

The planned new Northern Powerhouse Rail line between Leeds and Manchester was also cut. This loss will be felt most strongly, especially by anyone unlucky enough to take this route during rush hour. Hopes that Bradford, the UK’s seventh largest city and the least connected rail hub, would be on such a new line have been dashed.

Instead, the government came up with a mishmash of sections of new line, electrification, modernization and signaling of existing lines. Many of the supposedly new proposals simply reinstated previously abandoned plans, such as the contactless ticketing system.

In his presentation of the ill-named “Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands” (IRP), Boris Johnson even blurted out that the now abandoned plans cost £ 185bn, nearly double the £ 96bn that the government will now invest.

After years of Conservatives talking about the importance of the “north powerhouse”, the reality is more like a northern nursing home. It becomes clear that Johnson’s “leveling up” is just another broken promise.

There will be deep skepticism as to whether the genuinely new and limited projects promised will be delivered. Leeds is promised a public transport system, but the government report gives little confidence. He cannot decide whether the initial investment is worth £ 100million or £ 200million.

The most recent trolleybus plans were scrapped amid opposition – residents felt they primarily served park and ride lots for commuters outside of Leeds, with limited stops benefiting those in the city , while local bus services have reportedly been wiped out.

The ‘integration’ of the plan is limited by the fragmented nature of the UK rail system with more than 20 different operators, the plethora of separate local bus operating companies, as well as the Tories’ ‘Covid austerity’ limiting their readiness to make major investments.

The starting point of a true integrated transport plan should be to move the different parts of the transport network into public ownership, out of the hands of private profit-making companies.

The elected representatives of the railway workers and their unions, alongside the commuters and the labor movement at large, should be brought together to democratically discuss what investments to make and where.

Linked to a broader socialist plan based on democratic public ownership of the decisive parts of the economy, transport could be much more closely integrated with the real needs of people traveling for work and leisure, and of the environment.

Financial appeal

The coronavirus crisis has exposed the class character of society in many ways. This clearly shows to many that it is the working class that makes society run, not the CEOs of big companies.

The results of austerity have been shown graphically as utilities struggle to cope with the crisis.

  • The material of the Socialist Party is more vital than ever, so we can continue to bring back workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate workforce etc.
  • We must be prepared for the stormy events to come and the need to arm the labor movements with a socialist program – a program that puts the health and needs of mankind before the profits of the few.

Inevitably, during the crisis, we were not able to sell the socialist and raise funds as we normally would.

We therefore urge all our viewers to donate to our Fight Fund.

In The Socialist from November 24, 2021:


Workers’ action can defeat weak and divided conservatives

The working class strangled by price hikes and wage cuts

Poorest retirees swindled by the ceiling on social benefits

Tories drive a nail into triple-locked pension coffin

Cancellation of the East line of HS2: Fight for a workers’ plan for public transport

The history of cricket of racism and elitism


Midwives March Against Dangerous Staff and For Adequate Funding

Tories responsible for NHS staff shortages

Socialism 2021

Socialism 2021: an unwavering determination to change society

What did you think of Socialisme 2021?

Workplace News

Support the walkout of university workers on wages and pensions

RMT to strike in London night tube dispute

Panasonic workers strike against wage freeze

Tesco warehouse workers vote strike against wages

Wage victory for Sage nursing home workers

International news

Historic victory of Indian farmers

Sudan: “Hamdok sold the revolution!

USA: Right-wing vigilante Rittenhouse acquitted – capitalist courts will not defend the working class!

Violence against women

End sexism and violence against women

History of the working class

Chartism: the first workers’ movement in the world


The fight for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society


Obituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) – socialist pillar of the working class


Victory! Hackney Children’s Centers Saved!

West Sussex: payments for council bosses, cuts for us

Newham: Durning Hall – another shameful act of labor gentrification

Slough: cuts to adult services will leave homeless people vulnerable

Northampton: phony consultation to hide cuts

Sell ​​the socialist


The Socialist November 24, 2021 |
Join the Socialist Party

| Make a donation
| audio | PDF | Ebook


Comments are closed.