UK
20/09/2015 09:46 BST | Updated 20/09/2015 14:59 BST

Jeremy Corbyn Set To Announce Plans To Renationalise The Railways At Labour Party Conference

Jeremy Corbyn will announce the full renationalisation of Britain's railway network at his first Labour Party conference as Labour leader next week.

His plans for a "People's Railway" will mean bringing railway lines back into public ownership would be a priority for a Labour government in 2020.

He will announce the policy at the party's autumn conference which starts in Brighton next Sunday.

jeremy corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn is due to address his first party conference as Labour leader

Previous opinion polls have shown wide support for bringing rail franchises back into state control, a feeling flamed by ever-rising season ticket prices and relatively poor levels of service.

Corbyn told The Independent on Sunday: “We know there is overwhelming support from the British people for a People’s Railway, better and more efficient services, proper integration and fairer fares.

"On this issue, it won’t work to have a nearly-but-not-quite position. Labour will commit to a clear plan for a fully integrated railway in public ownership.”

rail franchise schedule

The rail franchise schedule reveals five lines that come up for renewal between 2020 and 2025

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Lilian Greenwood, the new shadow Transport Secretary, will steer a party taskforce to develop the plans, with an emphasis on persuading the public that "change is overdue," a source said.

It it thought that Corbyn will advocate a staged policy of bringing individual franchises back into public ownership as they expire over the next decade.

Franchises are currently in place across the rail network, for example, the Southeastern London to Kent line, and the Virgin Trains East and West coast lines.

Figures from the Government (PDF) detail the first lines that could be renationalised should Labour win power in 2020.

And here are the five franchises that will be due for renewal in the next parliament...

Photo gallerySchedule Of Rail Franchises 2020-2025 See Gallery


However, rail firms say their contribution to public transport must also be recognised. A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents Network Rail and train operators, said: “When rail franchising was introduced the railway ran at a £2bn a year loss in terms of its day to day costs but today, it virtually covers its running expenses.

"This phenomenal financial turnaround has happened because journeys have grown faster here than on many other European railways, resulting in almost six times more money being paid back by train operators to government for rail investment."