A TORY politician has claimed Labour’s plans to renationalise the railways would result in a ‘greater burden’ for Warrington taxpayers.

It comes following confirmation that FirstGroup is to take over the running of the West Coast Main Line train route from December.

Aberdeen-based firm First Group and Italian firm Trenitalia UK will be running the service as a joint venture.

The West Coast Main Line runs from London to Glasgow – going through Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester as part of the route.

Cllr Steve Parish (LAB – Chapelford and Old Hall) used to work for British Rail in the 1970s.

He says the system of franchising is discredited and that the Labour Party would support renationalising the railways.

“It’s ironic that the Tories are against nationalisation but most train services in Warrington will be operated by companies part-owned by the nationalised railways of Italy, Germany and France, with the profits going to subsidise passengers there,” he added.

However, his comments have been dismissed by Conservative Warrington South parliamentary candidate Andy Carter.

Mr Carter, a frequent rail user, slammed Labour but admits the sector needs to be ‘more flexible’ so it can respond to changing travel patterns.

“If there’s one thing we can be certain about, recreating British Rail of the 1970s is not the best way to deliver a rail network for the 21st century,” he added.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s plans for renationalisation would result in worse services, less investment and a greater burden for every taxpayer in Warrington.

“Having said that, the model adopted for the last 25 years since privatisation needs to be reviewed.

“Some of the ways the system works is holding rail travel back, we need a sector where services are operated in the interests of passengers with reform to fares, improved punctuality and a focus on customer service and safety.

“I also want to see the railways delivers for our economy, playing an increased role in moving freight off the roads and which embraces new ways of doing things to improve journeys at reduced cost.”