11 February 2018
Bradford Green Party has called for the East Coast Mainline to be permanently brought back under Government control after Virgins Train becomes the third operator in twelve years to walk away from their contract to run the train line.
The East Coast Mainline connects a number of stations in Bradford District – including Forster Square, Keighley, Shipley and Bingley - to London.
Although branded as Virgin Trains, transport giant Stagecoach owned 90% of the franchise to Virgin’s 10%.
They agreed to pay the government £3.3 billion to run the services but have only paid £1 billion to date.
The Green Party points out that the only time this franchise has been run successfully in the last twelve years was between 2009 and 2015 when it was run by the government.
During that time, it had an excellent reputation for service and it even returned a profit for the taxpayer.
Matt Edwards, Campaign Coordinator for Bradford Green Party has said,
“Yet again, it is the rail users who are being short changed by the mismanagement of our railways.
“For purely ideological reasons, the Conservatives privatised it again in 2015 allowing private companies backed by two of the richest people in our country to run it. Less than three years later they have walked away from the deal leaving all of us short changed by nearly £2 billion.
“What makes this even worse, is that it is rumoured that Stagecoach are lining up to bid on the franchise again if it becomes available. The Conservatives are continuing to reward big business for failure.”
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