Labour MPs have forced a parliamentary debate on the future of the East Coast Mainline to urge the government to abandon their unnecessary and costly privatisation plans for the line.
Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, speaking ahead of the debate, said:
“Ministers must keep East Coast on track by abandoning this unnecessary and costly privatisation. Since being run on a not for private profit basis, East Coast services have improved and more than £800million has been returned to tax-payers in contrast to the two previous failed private operators. Unlike every other rail service in the country, profits are reinvested in improving the service instead of leaving the industry in payments to shareholders. If Ministers get away with selling off the East Coast then the fares paid by passengers will once again be benefitting a few at the top instead of improving the service.
“The Government should stop misleading people that this privatisation is necessary to deliver investment. The truth is that the planned upgrade of the East Coast Main Line and the new generation of high speed InterCity trains that are on their way are being paid for by the taxpayer and will happen regardless of who is running the service.
“Labour MPs have forced this parliamentary debate to speak up for East Coast passengers and raise our concerns about the likely consequences of this misguided privatisation. We will be stepping up our campaign over the coming weeks and urge all passengers to back our efforts to keep the East Coast on track.”