East London Line – privatised or not?

21 June 2007

There were conflicting views today over proposed arrangements for London's new over-ground rail network. ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman said, ‘ASLEF wants to ensure that the capital has a coordinated and efficient transport service - but we are equally convinced that this will not be achieved by privatization. We are seeking a meeting with the Mayor to clarify the proposed new arrangements.

Ken Livingstone says the system will not be privatization, but would involve Hong Kong firm MTR and the Laing construction company acting as agents to manage the company. 

Transport for London says the new operation will revamp the North London line over the next five years, providing increased frequency and new-style trains. It is also intended to join up with the East London line and provide an overground service stretching across large parts of north-east and south-east London, right around to Clapham Junction.

‘We need to be convinced that this is not privatization by another name,’ Keith says but says ASLEF always ensures it knows exact proposals before making final decisions.

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