GNER franchise

30 June 2005

Train drivers leader Keith Norman today regretted the government decision to award a ten year franchise to GNER on an extortionate basis that could put jobs at risk.

"It is a pity the government has dismissed this opportunity to bring this important rail service back into public ownership. There is massive public support for the policy of a progressive recovery of rail franchises as they expire. This is a low-cost method of meeting the overwhelming public desire for a railway system that is publicly owned.

"Railways are both an economic necessity and a public service. It makes no sense to demand private owners make a profit and at the same time offer subsidies.

"GNER should be clear that they will not be permitted to maximise profits by attacking the pay and working conditions of railway workers."

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