So millions of commuters like me today are being forced to pay upto 3.6% more in their train fares.
For me, that’s an extra £36 a month.
I can’t get out of paying it.
But this Government are allowing Virgin East Coast to walk away from paying £2b to the taxpayer by allowing them to end their franchise three years early.
Half of that £2b would have paid for the Midland Mainline electrification scrapped by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling last year.
What’s more, Virgin East Coast’s owners Stagecoach and Virgin, could still be allowed to bid for a new public partnership franchise on the line.
Which means we’ll subsidise their profits even further!
Virgin East Coast is now the third private operator, along with GNER and National Express, to fail to make the route a success.
National Express were even banned from bidding for other franchises.
When Labour took the East Coast route back into public ownership in 2009, in six years the service improved, passenger satisfaction increased and it delivered £1b back to the taxpayer.
It’s not just ideologically right to bring trains back into public owenship.
It’s economically the most efficient and effective thing to do.