Flogging off East Coast Mainline

David Cameron flogs East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson

David Cameron flogs East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson

We have 10 days to tell the Government re-privatising the East Coast Mainline is a terrible deal for passengers and for taxpayers. — Caroline Lucas

Anyone who travels by train knows it is broke and we pay through the nose, with year on year above inflation hikes in rail fares.

Travel at weekend, especially on a Sunday when frequency of trains is poor and connections bad, and you have the nightmare of railworks.

Travel on the Reading-Gatwick line with First Great Western, and the toilets are in filthy condition.

First Great Western can no longer even be bothered to print and display a revised timetable. And it is no use asking at the ticket office, as they do not know either

Travel on the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line and you get filthy Third World inner-city cattle trucks fit for a scrapyard.

Travel on the East Coast Mainline and you get clean, fast trains, pleasant helpful staff, free wifi (though very limited).

It will surprise many to learn, this line is state owned.

With the failure of Sea Containers, the company that owned the company that owned the East Coast Mainline, it reverted to the state. It was then flogged to National Express, who proved to be disaster,and it was taken back into state control.

In the five years it has been run by the public sector, East Coast has returned nearly £1 billion to the taxpayer, as well as increasing passenger numbers, introducing a new timetable, improving punctuality, investing in ageing rolling stock and establishing industry leading approaches to waste recycling and reducing carbon emissions.

In Switzerland, they take a pragmatic approach, whether or not public or private it is dependent upon what works best.

For ConDen government, it a religious dogma, anything that can be privatised must be privatised, irrespective of what the evidence says.

nationalised or privatised

nationalised or privatised

Ask those who use the railways, is privatisation of the railways a success, and they will tell you no.

They want to see railways brought back into public ownership.

They also want to see the HS2 gravy train scrapped, and the money instead ploughed back into the existing rail network.

It therefore beggars belief that the Government has announced it intends to flog the franchise back to a private operator again, despite the success of the public sector rescue. This is privatisation for privatisation’s sake.

David Cameron is poised to hand East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson.

The new company running the London-Edinburgh trains will be Inter City Railways, a joint venture 90%-owned by Stagecoach with the trains branded Virgin Trains East Coast. Sir Richard Branson retains a 10% stake.

This is is like handing over the Royal Mail to the private sector.

This is handing public assets, our assets, to the private sector.

Have those who use East Coast Mainline been asked if they wish to see it handed to Richard Branson?

The East Coast Mainline should remain in our hands.

David Cameron is doing the dirty. He is trying to hand it over before the General Election, as he knows he is going to be out of office after the election.

The public has just ten days to object to this state give away.

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2 Responses to “Flogging off East Coast Mainline”

  1. keithpp Says:

    East Coast at Kings Cross

  2. keithpp Says:

    Virgin Trains ‘free’ wifi rip-off

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