Responding to the announcement today (Thursday) that the East Coast mainline franchise has been awarded to Virgin and Stagecoach – and will now be returned to the private sector – TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“The government’s rush to sell off the East Coast mainline before the election is a purely ideological move that’s not in the interests of taxpayers or passengers. It’s an example of politics trumping logic.
“Since being in public hand the line has returned over £1bn to Treasury coffers and increased its profits. Under public ownership the East Coast has also received record-high passenger satisfaction levels.
“By privatising the East Coast mainline the government is passing the profits to corporate shareholders, instead of using the cash to reduce rail fares and improve services for passengers.”
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