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Transport

REAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT

For social and economic reasons, the Socialist Labour Party believes that all transport systems and industries - on land, sea, rail, inland waterways and air - should be in public and municipal ownership, managed in a fully accountable way and complementing, not competing with, each other. This means that all transport (public or freight) and transport networks (roads, rail, waterways) would operate on behalf of the British people, our communities, our regions and the environment.

Even our class enemies agree that the sell-off of Britain's rail network has been an unmitigated disaster. The Socialist Labour Party wants to see the entire rail network taken back into public ownership and control. At the same time we want to see Britain's bus and tram services taken into or back into municipal ownership.

An integrated transport system requires massive public investment, not private finance initiatives (PFI), nor a system of bonds which involves big business. The raising of capital to develop our rail, bus, tram and motorway networks should be funded by central and local Government.

Experts now acknowledge the detrimental effects of the car and heavy duty lorries on our environment, our roads, our villages, our countryside. Only Socialist policies for an integrated public transport system can tackle the problem.

AN EFFICIENT VALUE FOR MONEY SYSTEM

Long distance road haulage should be replaced by rail, sea and/or waterway. Regenerating our railways, bus and tram networks and our badly disused inland waterways - would save us all from the hideous juggernaut lorries that do so much environmental damage.

A Socialist policy means not only taking all the railways, buses and trams back into public ownership, but putting into place low fares or free travel which encourages still greater use, stimulating local economies while liberating people from the ghettos created by high-cost transport.

This means creating or restoring public transport networks to serve isolated areas and communities. A sensible integrated transport policy must also involve the introduction of environmentally-friendly trams in all our cities and towns.

Encouraging the safe use of bicycles and the protection of pedestrians, especially in our towns and cities, would further help to reduce our dependence on cars.

Developing such a policy - ensuring that all our rail, bus, tram, airline and waterways are in municipal and public ownership, with accountability at all levels - will require at least £200 billion over the next 10 years, or £20 billion per year, a sum which would still leave Britain trailing behind the French and Dutch systems.

A £20 billion annual investment could be met out of the £30 billion-plus profits declared in 2005 by Britain's major oil companies - that would be an environmentally acceptable investment!