Tomorrow, East Coast Main Line will be taken over by private companies Virgin and Stagecoach.
Ahead of this, Michael Dugher, Shadow Transport Secretary, will give a speech in Leeds in which he’ll outline how Labour would allow public sector companies to “take on lines and challenge the private sector on a genuinely level playing field.” They’d do this, he says, within the first 100 days of government. .
Dugher is expected to say:
“The end of East Coast Trains will be a hammer blow for passengers, taxpayers and employees alike. David Cameron’s ideological sell off has ended a public sector service, which has delivered over £1bn to the Treasury, kept fares down, had record passenger satisfaction and engaged the workforce with unparalleled success.
“It is clear that when it comes to transport, people have a straight choice – the status quo or Labour’s better plan. Labour will start the process of legislating in the first 100 days of a new Parliament to allow a public sector operator to be able to take on lines and challenge the private sector on a genuinely level playing field.
“Labour will also hold a speedy review of rail franchising to replace it with a system fit for purpose and create a strong passenger voice within a new strategic body for running the railways.”