Congress notes the government statement of 3 September 2012 that Virgin Trains' legal challenge delayed the signing of the West Coast Mainline contract. Virgin claim First Group's bid is undeliverable and based on unattainable assumptions such as a doubling of passenger numbers.
This whole fiasco demonstrates a flawed approach to the provision of rail services and a repeat of the debacle when the government accepted successive undeliverable private bids for the East Coast mainline resulting in the service having to be nationalised. The exorbitant cost of privatisation has again been highlighted with news the Southern rail franchise will need extra taxpayer support.
Corporate propaganda surrounding railway finances implies private train companies provide a net financial gain for the government when the reality is this is only possible because of massive taxpayer subsidy for railway infrastructure. Once the profiteering of the likes of Virgin or First is taken into account the taxpayer is worse off than if the service was run in public ownership.
Congress is alarmed that nearly all railway franchises are to be renewed by 2015 with passengers facing the prospect of years of litigation, uncertainty and confusion, while the need to make profits out of the railway will mean ever-increasing fares and staff and service cuts.
Congress calls for the interests of passengers and the taxpayer to be protected by:
the nationalisation of West Coast Mainline
the retention of East Coast mainline in public ownership
returning all passenger services to public ownership.
Mover: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen
Seconder: National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Minutes and agendas (300 words) issued 11 Sep 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-21409-f0.cfm
printed 19 June 2013 at 13:05 hrs by 184.108.40.206