Campaigners gather to protest at the re-privatisation of the East Coast Main Line

The East Coast Main Line, which the Government wants to re-privatise.

The East Coast Main Line, which the Government wants to re-privatise.

First published in News
Last updated

PROTESTS have been taking place across the country against the Government’s controversial plan to sell off the East Coast Main Line.

Campaigners gathered at stations up and down the line - including York, Durham and Newcastle – to greet travellers and press home their argument.

The protest by Action for Rail was deliberately timed to co-incide with the beginning of the Liberal-Democrats’ spring conference in York this weekend.

The campaign, backed by the TUC and railway unions, is fighting the Government’s proposals to re-privatise the route – the only remaining publicly-owned railway in the UK.

It has been in public ownership since 2009, after two previous private train operators were forced to bail out of the franchise for financial reasons.

But last October ministers announced plans to re-privatise the line and more than 60 MPs have since signed an early day motion calling on the government to keep the line public.

The campaigners argue that Directly Operated Railways – the public operator of the line – has achieved record levels of customer satisfaction and provided the highest returns to the taxpayer while receiving the lowest public subsidy among all the train companies.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Privatising the East Coast defies all logic. Since it was re-nationalised the line has gone from strength to strength.

“This decision shows the government is clinging on to its outdated faith in privatisation at all costs and is determined to remain blind to the fact that public ownership has been a success for taxpayers and passengers alike.”

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:30pm Fri 7 Mar 14

D&SGent says...

"TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Privatising the East Coast defies all logic. Since it was re-nationalised the line has gone from strength to strength.

“This decision shows the government is clinging on to its outdated faith in privatisation at all costs and is determined to remain blind to the fact that public ownership has been a success for taxpayers and passengers alike.”

Yes, but the main aim of the Conservative Party is to maintain or increase the wealth of its supporters and cronies. Whether or not it is good for passengers or taxpayers does not come into the argument.
"TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Privatising the East Coast defies all logic. Since it was re-nationalised the line has gone from strength to strength. “This decision shows the government is clinging on to its outdated faith in privatisation at all costs and is determined to remain blind to the fact that public ownership has been a success for taxpayers and passengers alike.” Yes, but the main aim of the Conservative Party is to maintain or increase the wealth of its supporters and cronies. Whether or not it is good for passengers or taxpayers does not come into the argument. D&SGent
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree