Jenny Chapman MP

JENNY CHAPMAN

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A bad move for East Coast

 

Reinvest profits in passengers not shareholders


 

Jenny Chapman MP has said that putting the East Coast Main Line back into private hands is the wrong move for hard-pressed passengers.

The Government's franchising process, which began today, will see both private business and state-backed companies from abroad bid to run the East Coast line.

After being failed twice by private operators, in 2009 the railway was brought into public hands to protect the service from disaster. Since then it has been run by Directly Owned Railways, a state-owned company set up to run rail services who, like the East Coast, have been let down by private franchising.

This not-for-profit operator has managed to deliver improved services for passengers, whilst costing Government less than any private franchise employed in Britain and bringing in more profit to the taxpayer than all but one.

Directly Owned Railways has now been uniquely barred by the Government from competing for the franchise, despite the bidding being open to state-run companies from abroad.

Jenny Chapman MP said: “Passengers in Darlington have been failed twice before by private operators. Keeping the East Coast line public would deliver security and continued improvements to the service.

“By the time this franchise has finished, Directly Owned Railways will have delivered a billion pounds profit to the taxpayer. I want to see that money reinvested in improving services and capping fares rather than disappearing into the pockets of shareholders"

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