National Express condemned

27 June 2014

The Department for Transport preferred National Express over rival bids from First Group; MTR of Hong Kong; and Abellio, the British arm of the Dutch state railway. The Conservative-led coalition, hurrying to flog off franchises before a general election they fear they will lose, have rushed through three extended rail franchises already this year after a two year hiatus in the wake of the West Coast main line scandal in 2012 which cost the taxpayer £55 million.

Mick said: ‘National Express,when it handed back the keys in 2009, left the East Coast franchise in chaos.It has since been run very successfully in the public sector, delivering for passengers, for staff, and for taxpayers, returning £1 billion to the Treasury.That’s the best model for running a modern, fully-integrated railway, fit for the 21st century, in this country.

‘Privatisation has failed and the fragmented franchise model simply isn’t working. And the announcement from National Express is full of half-truths and misleading statements. For example,it talks of a fleet of new trains. But no train operating company in this country invests in new trains. They are funded by the taxpayer!’

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