Saturday, 5 March 2016

Stop Citigroup from selling our stations - Bristol update

acknowledgements to William Quick
I'm sure you must have seen that Citigroup have been brought in by Network rail to help it sell 18 of our rail stations still in public hands to try and reduce some of its debt (the debt hasn't suddenly increased, but has been moved onto the government balance sheets so looks bad for Osborne's austerity program....)

We Own It and Bring Back British Rail are organising to oppose it (with support of ASLEF, TSSA, RMT).

Here in Bristol we've set up a local campaign against the sale of Temple Meads which is one of the 18 stations under threat, through a local rail campaign called Friends of Bristol Suburban Railways - their campaigns officer is former Green lefty Julie Boston who's just left to join momentum, and she's gotten me involved - and have got the support of the local rail unions, the Labour Party, the Green Party and the People's Assembly.

I've done a lot of the early work on press releases and setting up the event and stuff (though Julie put most of the ground work in).

Its gotten us quite a lot of traction in the local press. (best coverage, I had a phone interview with them which is quoted at length, and they've got a quote I sent from our Mayoral candidate Tony Dyer)

and me and Julie were interviewed by local tv channel Made in Bristol (they cut Julie entirely sadly) who had me as a segment on both their 6 and 9 o'clock news programs today.  (the catch up link should be online some time tomorrow, I imagine by the time many of you will awaken... I'm on night shift duty at Southmead hospital as per usual... for any of you who miss seeing my face )  They'll be covering the protest on Monday too, and if the footage is good will be syndicating it and the interviews as a package to BBC points west.... ooooh.

Anyway I thought I'd share this with you all to encourage you to do similar campaigns if your area if your stations are affected.  Train stations are vital community hubs and need to play a pivotal role in our attempts to move away from harmful car based transport models, we can't let them fall into the hands of the privateers.  Happy campaigning friends.

All the best,

(not sure if your stations ear marked for privatisation, well here's the list plus a petition that everyone should sign and share, even if they're not near a station that's under threat  )

Stop bankers selling off our stations

Network Rail has asked Citigroup bankers to help them sell off 18 public railway stations across the country: Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads, Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central, Leeds, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Reading and the London stations.
If stations are sold off for a quick buck, we'll lose future profits and we'll lose control over these public spaces. Tell Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, to stop taking advice from bankers and listen to passengers instead. We want a public railway - trains and tracks - and we want to keep our stations. No more privatisation, no more fragmentation.

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