Privatisation — 6 Nov 2000

I beg to move,

That this House notes public concern about the effects of railway privatisation and about current plans to privatise National Air Traffic Services and London Underground and opposes the dogmatic pursuit of privatisation in public services.

is not the answer to give BR access to the private markets to increase investment and to give private services access to the rail network to increase competition?--[ Official Report , 15 October 1991; Vol. 196, c. 148.]

if you have a camera handy, there's a chance to record a rare sighting of a Circle Line train in its natural habitat.

Air traffic control is all about safety, which must be paramount.--[ Official Report , 20 December 1999; Vol. 341, c. 535.]

Our air is not for sale.

Liberal Democrats agreed with him then, and we continue to agree with that sentiment. We have seen no evidence to justify changing our mind.

the Government's pragmatic policy of developing Public Private Partnerships for National Air Traffic Services and the London Underground.

dealing with things sensibly and realistically.

I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

"deplores the previous Government's incompetent privatisation of the railways which left the network fragmented, cost taxpayers billions of pounds and brought rail travellers hours of delays; welcomes the Government's creation of the Strategic Rail Authority to give direction to the industry from an industry-wide perspective rather than from the narrow interests of individual companies; recognises that the Government's 10-year plan is delivering the largest investment programme for the railways for generations to tackle the problems caused by years of under-investment in the public and private sectors; welcomes the Government's pragmatic policy of developing Public Private Partnerships for National Air Traffic Services and the London Underground, enabling much needed investment and private sector financial and management skills to be introduced to the public services while safeguarding safety and the public interest; and regrets the official Opposition's dogmatic pursuit of privatisation for the London Underground and the National Air Traffic Services."

The current proposal for a public-private partnership for NATS is, in our view, the worst of all the possible options.

recognises the special effort made by Government in ensuring that safety is managed centrally and rests ultimately in public sector hands.

Labour will improve the Underground and guarantee value for money for taxpayers and passengers.

half baked and either naive or dishonest

towards the bottom of the list of options

poor transport is jeopardising strong jobs growth in central London,

to maximise the proceeds to the Treasury. It was not designed to optimise safety, optimise investment or, indeed, cope with the huge increase in the number of passengers.

retain London Underground in public ownership and give it the right to seek private finance for new investment without an assured government guarantee.

Treble the freight and double the number of passengers carried on Britain's railways by the year 2010.

require Railtrack to meet targets for greater investment and increased passenger and freight traffic

strengthen the powers of the rail regulators.

withhold public subsidies from Railtrack if the targets are not met.

I acknowledge readily that credit must be given to the railway industry for the advances made in safety management in recent times. Indeed, the number of signals passed at danger has been reduced significantly. I am pleased that Railtrack felt able to announce earlier this month that the number of broken rails in the half year in question, compared with the previous period, had declined by 32 per cent.--[ Official Report, House of Lords , 19 October 2000; Vol. 617, c. 1201.]

Increases in fuel duty, and motorway tolling, will help people to make . . . informed choices--[ Official Report , 30 March 1994; Vol. 240, c. 930.]

Private enterprise given its head to build toll roads could get Britain back on the move.

the severe cuts in operating costs and investment are inconsistent with the proper carrying out of its functions--

prime duty . . . the safe provision of air traffic control.

welcomes the Government's policy of developing Public Private Partnerships for National Air Traffic Services and the London Underground.

Question , That the Question be now put, put and agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 43, Noes 272.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con1 000.6%
Independent0 1033.3%
Lab270 (+2 tell) 0065.9%
LDem0 38 (+2 tell)085.1%
PC0 3075.0%
SNP0 1016.7%
Total:271 43050.2%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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