Wales

Rail renationalisation unnecessary, says transport expert

A train
Image caption Franchise operated trains would be better served with "more experienced staff", Prof Stuart Cole says

Calls by Labour to renationalise some train services have been deemed "unnecessary".

Professor of transport at the University of South Wales, Stuart Cole, said experienced staff are needed.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, he said that while the "franchise system has not been performing" a public sector approach was not the answer.

Previously, Transport Minister Edwina Hart said not-for-profit firms could run Welsh train services.

Recently, Labour's shadow transport secretary, Michael Dugher, said more public control of the railways will result in a better service.

Prof Cole said: "Private companies run the railways under contract in the way Marriott hotels and McDonald's are run under contract - which have very strict guidelines.

"But what's been happening is that these guidelines have not been very strict [for the railways]."

He said the answer was a franchise system managed by "professional railway people rather than civil servants".

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