Great Western and Thameslink Great Northern Franchises

27 July 2005

Commenting on the franchise bidding for the Great Western and Thameslink/Great northern service ASLEF national organiser Andy Reed said: "Train drivers share passenger and public concerns that the privatisation gravy train continues.


Performance improved on the South Eastern Trains service when it was returned to public service after the failure of its private enterprise operator. The government should heed voter opinion and take the opportunity presented by franchise renewals to bring railways back into public ownership.


The fact that ministers have inserted provision for franchise renewals if performance fails is a small concession to the arguments put forward by the rail unions and passenger groups."


Commenting on the Thameslink/Great Northern bid ASLEF district secretary Andy Cotogno said:


"There seems to be some confused thinking on the part of policy makers. Originally, we were told that the aim was to link a single franchise holder to each terminal.. Now this approach has been abandoned in favour of a hybrid arrangement.


Service provision would improve and coherent management become a reality if the whole railway system was to be managed as a single enterprise. Perhaps we could call it something like British Rail."

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