Public ECML profits up 7%

28 September 2012

Since the East Coast Main Line has been in public hands it has increased its operating profit by 7% (to £7.1 million) in the year to March. It has increased annual turnover by £20 million (to £665.8 million) and increased profits before tax and DfT service payments to £195.7 million, an increase of £13m.

The ECML was renationalised under the umbrella of Directly Operated Railways (DOR), after the private company National Express abandoned the franchise as it was making a loss. Inexplicably, the government is now making plans to let it out on another private franchise.

‘Why would they do it?’ asks ASLEF’s general secretary Mick Whelan. ‘Here is a company that is putting profits directly back into the public purse. It makes money for the tax-payer and the rail passenger – money that can be used to reduce fares and improve services.

‘So why give it to a private firm that will siphon off those profits for private investors instead of the travelling public? It the economics of the madhouse.’

Mick argues that there is only one reason – sheer political dogma for which the public is forced to pick up the bill. ‘This government hates a public ownership success story – which is what today’s figures show ECML to be.

‘So we have to pay higher fares for a worse railway than we deserve to conform with their obviously false ‘private is good, public is bad’ dogma.’

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