Calls For East Coast Mainline Not To Be Privatised
8:11am 18th October 2013
A petition, signed by more than 23 thousand rail passengers, is being handed in to try to stop the East Coast being re-privatised.
It's been in the public sector since 2009 but is due to go back into private ownership early next year. Campaigners argue a publicly-run East Coast is better value for money.
Caroline Russell, the Green Party spokesperson for local transport said:
“I am proud to represent a party that stands resolutely in favour of the re-nationalisation of Britain’s railways. The re-nationalisation of the East Coast Mainline has offered a perfect example of the benefits that can be brought from public ownership and yet the government is still determined to sell-off this high-performing asset. Since the line was nationalised it has outperformed other train services and is currently returning more money back to the state than any other operator. Our question to the government is simple: what’s not to like?”
“Ownership of East Coast is an issue that affects train travellers from Edinburgh to London. Over half of those who use the service start or end their journey in London where commuters already enjoy the daily privilege of paying sky-high prices to stand in overcrowded trains. We don’t want to see them clobbered with more yet more hikes in fares and a drop in performance. We want to see the East Coast Mainline retained in public ownership because we believe in valuing people before profit and in seeing travellers as passengers, not customers”.
The Green Party MP Caroline Lucas’ Bill to bring the rail network back into public hands is due its Second Reading debate in parliament today.
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