Keir Starmer pledges end to boom-and-bust cycle for rail manufacturers, as Labour sets out roadmap to fix Britain’s broken railways

Labour's Rail Nationalization Plan Addressing UK's Declining Railways
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During a visit to Hitachi’s rail manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has pledged to end the boom-and-bust cycle which is holding back Britain’s struggling rail manufacturing industry.

On the visit, Keir Starmer and Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh pledged to deliver a new, long-term strategy for train manufacturing, as part of Labour’s wider commitment to a comprehensive industrial strategy, and to safeguard thousands of jobs in a vital strategic industry.

The principles behind that long-term strategy will include:

• Ending the boom-and-bust cycle facing manufacturers
• Bringing down costs for taxpayers
• Giving a voice to industry in Great British Railways
• Running the railways for the long term
• Lowering carbon emissions from rail
• Delivering more certainty for investors to foster innovation
• Supporting good jobs across our rail industry

The commitment comes as Labour today launched ‘Fixing Britain’s Broken Railways’ – a detailed new roadmap to deliver the biggest reform to Britain’s broken rail system in decades. Labour will deliver a publicly owned railway that delivers for passengers, taxpayers and manufacturers.

Britain’s rail manufacturers have been plunged into crisis due to Conservative chaos and incompetence. The failure of Government Ministers to keep major infrastructure projects on track, deliver rail reforms, and to properly plan ahead has led to huge gaps in order schedules and put thousands of jobs at risk.

Hitachi has warned that 700 jobs are at risk at its factory in the North East, with a further 1,400 jobs at risk across its supply chain. The Rail Minister has recently dismissed the prospect of thousands of job losses as ‘peaks and troughs’.

Alstom in Derby has also been pushed to the brink of huge job losses, with the Transport Secretary having to be dragged kicking and screaming under pressure from Labour, industry and unions just to come back to the table.

Keir Starmer and Louise Haigh met today with Hitachi management and workforce representatives to pledge reform to Britain’s boom and bust rail sector and to hear first-hand what is needed to secure a bright future for a vital British industry.

Keir Starmer MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “The workforce here at Hitachi is staring down the barrel of devastating job losses. Communities and local businesses across the North East will be hit hard if our proud manufacturing base here is not preserved.

“This was not inevitable. Both in County Durham and at Alstom in Derby, thousands of jobs are in jeopardy because this Tory government has refused to deliver a proper industrial strategy. After 14 years of chaos and uncertainty, they have left our rail manufacturing sector teetering on the brink.

“This is a crisis that must be resolved urgently and must not be allowed to happen again. That’s why, as part of our wider plan to fix Britian’s broken railways, Labour will bring forward a new, long-term strategy for this crucial sector.

“It’s time to end the Tory boom-and-bust. Labour will give rail manufacturing across Britian the secure, bright future it deserves.”

Louise Haigh MP, Shadow Transport Secretary, said: “Britain was the country that created the railways, but under this Government a cycle of boom-and-bust has put the future of our rail manufacturing sector at risk.

“Labour won’t sit back and let another vital British industry be hollowed out due to Conservative chaos.

“Labour will fix Britain’s broken rail system by delivering a publicly owned railway fit for the future, and which delivers for passengers, taxpayers and manufacturers.”