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Greens back bill to renationalise Railtrack

THE GREEN party this week vowed to back a new Bill to renationalise Railtrack despite being told that only Government ministers can introduce such legislation.

Over 100 MPs have already signed an early day motion on the subject proposed by Labour MP Ann Cryer, showing a huge raft of support for the legislation.

However, the Greens have been warned that due to the large sums of public money involved, under Parliamentary standing order regulations they would be unable to promote such legislation as only Government ministers can bring such proposals forward.

Regardless of this ruling, the Green Party has drawn up a draft Bill, modelled on the British Leyland Act 1975 which enabled the government to rescue the ailing car manufacturer. The new Bill values the acquisition of Railtrack at £5bn.

Green Party peer Lord Beaumont of Whitley was to propose the Bill. He has said that he will press for a debate on the issue if he is not allowed to introduce it.

Transport spokesman for the Green party Alan Francis explained that money to pay for the renationalisation of Railtrack could be raised over a number of years by issuing bonds. Alternatively, he said, the Government could use some of the £22bn raised last year from the sale of mobile phone licenses.

He added that the Green party proposed to re-nationalise the whole industry eventually, including train operators and infrastructure companies, reversing what it described as the 'fragmentation' of the industry.

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