Nearly 60% of the Public believe railway privatisation has been a failure – New Poll for We Own It


A new poll of the UK public by Survation for We Own It found that 58%  believed railway privatisation to be a complete or partial failure, over 4 times more than the 13% who said that railway privatisation had been a partial or complete success.




When asked what they thought would happen to rail fares if the railway was in public hands instead of private ownership, 47% believed that prices would be cheaper; a third (33%) believed they would be somewhat cheaper and 14% thought prices would be much cheaper. Conversely, 13% believed prices would be higher if the railway was under public ownership compared to private ownership. Nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents believed that rail fares would be the same for either scenario.


Elsewhere in the poll:

  • On the topic of Southern Rail and its ongoing dispute with the rail unions, half (50%) of those polled thought that Southern Rail is not suitable to run the service. One in five (20%) thought that Southern Rail was suitable to run the service, with just under a third (30%) of respondents saying that they did not know.
  • Of those who thought that Southern Rail was not suitable to run it’s current train services, when asked how they would like to see the service run, 1 in 5 (20%) thought that the contract should go to another private company, 22% thought that only Southern Rail should be re-nationalised and 53% thought the whole railway network should be brought back into public ownership.


Full tables are available here. Survation interviewed 1,029 Scottish adults aged 16+ between 2nd – 7th November 2016. Survation is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

To take part in Survation’s regular UK or Scottish omnibuses please contact us here


Freddie Alloh

Freddie Alloh

Project Manager

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