ASLEF Circular

28 July 2005

FUTURE OF VIRGIN CROSS COUNTRY

 

TO: ALL BRANCHES AND REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

Fellow Members,

 

FUTURE OF VIRGIN CROSS COUNTRY

 

As you have probably been made aware the SRA have decided to terminate franchise negotiations with Virgin trains on the Crosscountry franchise which was due to run until 2012. The reason the SRA gave was that the franchise tender did not pass the value for money test.

 

The SRA have said that they will give a decision on the future of the Crosscountry network at a future date still to be determined. One of the possible options being muted would be the disintegration of the franchise and various paths given to other TOCs, this in its self would have a devastating affect on the ASLEF membership employed by Virgin Crosscountry and the complete loss of most of the long distance services provided by the franchise.

 

Crosscountry carries 19 million passengers a year over a network which broadly mirrors the motorway network and it stands to reason that rather than change trains three or four times passengers would most probably travel by car on the motorway network and be lost to the industry forever, Virgin management have kept the Council informed of the decision made by the SRA regarding the franchise negotiations, the Company Council have informed management that we would be fighting to keep the franchise as one entity regardless whether Virgin were awarded the franchise or not.

 

· ASLEF will launch joint campaign with its sister Rail Unions the RMT and the TSSA and will be writing a joint letter to the Strategic Rail Authority and the Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Alistair Darling to register our concern at the SRA’s plans.

· ASLEF will be calling for an urgent meeting with the Government to register Rail Unions concern that Virgin Cross Country Franchise could broken up, which will lead further fragmentation on the rail network

· ASLEF and the RMT and TSSA will be holding a joint lobby of Parliament once Parliament has returned from its summer recess to campaign to MP’s on this matter.

 

 

Please bring this circular to the attention of your members

 

Yours fraternally

 

 

Keith Norman

Acting General Secretary

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