Under Labour’s manifesto commitment to renationalise the rail network only two franchises that stop in South Yorkshire are set to be nationalised in the next parliament, with the rest having to wait until after the 2022 General Election.
The first to be brought into public ownership under Labour’s plans will be East Midlands Trains, with its contract expiring in 2018, with Cross Country’s franchise to end in 2019.
Others would be reliant on a Labour victory after 2022. Both First Transpennine and East Coast expire in 2023, the Northern franchise ends in 2025, and Grand Central’s deal ends 2026.
Hull Trains, with its tender ending in 2029, is dependent on the 67-year-old lasting at least twelve years in office, until he’s 79, or the appointment of a continuity Corbyn.
Critics argue the the party are pledging to take over rail franchises after they expire is so they can avoid costing them.
They highlight that the party is already reliant on borrowing huge amounts for its £250 billion ten year infrastructure plan, the £5 billion buyout of Royal Mail and the £40 billion acquisition of National Grid.
Labour say that they are taking advantage of historically low interest rates after years of underinvestment.
Saying that the party will “put the passenger first,” he told the audience at The University of Bradford that: “Only Labour has a plan ambitious enough to unleash the country’s potential”.
If the party wanted to take over the network on the same timescale as its other nationalisation plans, in addition to takeover costs it could also be subject to legal action from existing operators.
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition privatised East Coast in 2015 shortly before the election after it was brought back into public hands because of the collapse of National Express’ franchise.
Nationally it will take until 2030 for the network to be in public hands – with the last being the Caledonian Sleeper service.