More public money for train operators

03 July 2017

Reports over the weekend suggest the government is planning to provide more subsidies for rail franchises in the face of declining interest from the private sector and decreasing profits for the companies. Stagecoach last week warned that it had overbid for the East Coast franchise and was now in talks with the Department for Transport to renegotiate its contract.

 

Commenting on the reports ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘when is the government going to face up to the truth and admit that the rail franchising system is past its sell-by-date. This is a model where train companies invest nothing, don’t buy the trains or build the infrastructure nor do they maintain it yet they make a 2% profit on the back of billions of pounds of public investment.’

 

Mick added ‘The public will rightly be outraged at proposals to use even more taxpayer’s money to prop up an ideologically-driven, failed model at a time when major questions are being asked about the integrity of our public services more generally. I say to the government: when you are in a hole, stop digging.’

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