Seventy per cent of people want to see Britain’s railways renationalised, according to a new survey.

The poll, which was carried out by research agency GfK NOP,  asked 1,000 members of the public ‘Do you think UK rail should be returned to public ownership?’.

Results showed that 70 per cent would like to see the railways returned to public ownership, with 28 per cent disagreeing and two per cent having no opinion.

Mich Whelan, general secretary of train drivers’ union ASLEF, said that the “experiment had failed”.

He added: “This is the biggest ever survey result in favour of returning rail to public ownership.

“It shows clearly that the public is fed up with the franchising farce, a system that is now so discredited that the government stands in total isolation in supporting it.

“The time for tinkering with the existing system is over.”



  1. […] Is there anything that better highlights the democratic deficit in Britain – and the gap between the political elite and ordinary people – than the issue of renationalisation of the railways? A poll on this website asking whether the railways should be nationalised is currently showing 93% support for public ownership. That’s a self-selecting bunch of Guardian readers you might say. But a poll on MSN showed 75% in favour. A similar number was found in a poll carried out by GfKNOP in September. […]

  2. No doubt the rail unions would like a return to nationalised railways so we can return to national rail strikes just like the good old days!

  3. […] Onto the Railways now. I needn’t remind the reader how unreservedly great privatisation has been for us all. The problems of British Rail such as lateness, cancellations, cost etc. have all been totally overcome since private ownership. Ha. As if. In fact our tax payer subsidies for private Rail operators significantly exceed those when under public ownership. The difference is that in the current instance the money we collectively put in seems to disappear into management pockets and the service itself meanwhile doesn’t improve in the slightest. So accountability is actually at an all time low. Competition simply doesn’t work with the trains. Nobody ‘chooses’ the journey they have to take or the time they must take it to get to work. This is about keeping the country ticking not the ‘free’ market wet dreams of Ayn Rand cult heads, those who think everything in public ownership is a Soviet conspiracy designed to rip them of their Freedom™. Don’t make me laugh. Global Rail News reports some 70% want to end the failed privatisation experiment. ( […]