Usual suspects line up for franchises

29 March 2012

The Department for Transport today announced the shortlisted bidders for the Great Western, Thameslink and Essex Thameside franchises with seven transport companies in the frame for the contracts.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘despite the Government’s purported new strategy for the railway announced in the Command Paper earlier this month today’s statement from the Rail Minister shows that it’s back to normal as the usual suspects line for the next round of franchises.’

Mick continued ‘the Minister says the rail market is ‘vibrant and competitive.’ That’s not surprising given that these firms are guaranteed to make huge profits on the back of public subsidy.’

He added ‘today’s announcement is a reminder why the railway unions and TUC joint campaign against job cuts, service reductions, ticket office closures and fare hikes in the rail industry is so important.’

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