'EAST COAST REWARDS' NOT WORTH BOTHERING WITH SAY PETERBOROUGH to COMMUTERS AS NEW RATES ARE RELEASED" http://saveecrewards.co.uk/rewards-guide/62-the-figures-are-out-we-compare
Rail union RMT has organised a series of protests along the East Coast Main Line (sadly they have omitted Peterborough, one of the original Railway Cities ) to mark the final day of its operation in the public sector as the Government dumps it back into the laps of the private-sector from the 1st of March, despite its financial and performance success as a public service and in the face of two previous, grotesque private failures that took the inter-city route to the brink of collapse.
|RMT protest outside Doncaster Station|
The protests, on Saturday 28th February, will take place as follows:
Kings Cross, London – 09.00 – 10.00hrs
Edinburgh Waverley – 08.00 – 09.00hrs
Doncaster – 09.00 – 10.00hrs
- Since 2009, East Coast has returned over £1bn to the Treasury – paying cash back to the taxpayer while the private companies line their pockets with subsidies
- has had record high customer satisfaction ratings,
- has increased profits with that money being invested directly back into improving services instead of being trousered by private shareholders
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Six years ago the East Coast Main Line collapsed into chaos when National Express threw the keys back because they couldn’t extract enough profit. That followed an earlier spectacular private sector failure on the line when Sea Containers went bust. It was left to the public sector to not only rescue this vital North/South rail link from total meltdown but to turn around its performance and to start handing hundreds of millions of pounds back to the taxpayer in contrast to the rip-off private companies.
“This weekend, in an act of gross national betrayal of the British people that will cost us dear, the route is being handed over to Virgin/Stagecoach to be run again solely in the interests of private profit, taking a third gamble after the two previous corporate failures.
“This re-privatisation is based on pure, hard-right, Thatcherite ideology and is an act of industrial vandalism that will smash apart Britain’s most successful rail company for just one reason – it is publicly owned.
“On Saturday RMT will mark this latest scandal on Britain’s privatised railways and the union will renew the fight to return the entire network to public ownership – a policy supported by 70% of the British people.”
The new east coast franchise begins on 1 March 2015.
The chequered history of East CoastOriginally built by three private train companies in the mid-19th century, the east coast mainline was nationalised under British Rail in 1948 and is unique in having enjoyed a stint in state hands after John Major’s privatisation of the railways in 1994. Inter City Railways, running trains branded Virgin Trains East Coast, will be the fourth operator in a little over seven years when it takes over the franchise in March.
April 1996–December 2007 Great North Eastern Railway
GNER’s stint in charge started well enough, with a seven year term extended by two years before it defeated bidders including Virgin to secure a second full franchise from 2005. However, it overbid and struggled to meet the payments (£1.3bn over 10 years) and by late 2006 the government had announced it would need a new operator.
Dec 2007–Nov 2009 National Express
The operator that rode in to rescue the line quickly found itself in difficulties of its own. With the sudden onset of a wider financial crisis, ticket sales fell and projected revenue increases never materialised. Negotiations to change the payment terms failed and National Express announced it would default on its contract.
Nov 2009–March 2015 East Coast Trains/Directly Operated Railways
DOR, the Department for Transport’s in-house team of last resort, steps in to run the line, its tenure extended after the rail franchising timetable is thrown into chaos by the West Coast fiasco. However, with Labour threatening to keep the line in public ownership if it wins the 2015 election, the coalition sends East Coast to the top of the franchising queue.
March 2015 Virgin Trains East Coast
At the third attempt, albeit as a minority partner with Stagecoach, Sir Richard Branson gets his hands on the other major rail artery linking London and Scotland to join his Virgin trains on the West Coast mainline.
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