Edinburgh North and Leith MP Mark Lazarowicz has welcomed the latest figures from publicly-owned rail operator East Coast. He stressed again the case for the line to stay in the public sector and said the issue that has been kept alive by Labour MPs in constituencies along the route – especially those in Edinburgh.
East Coast paid £225m to the government in the year to March 2014, making a total of more than £1bn since the last Labour Government took it back into the public sector. The rail operator also came top for customer satisfaction amongst long distance franchises.
The Labour MP said: “It’s a real achievement for this public sector company to pay back £225m to the taxpayer whilst also coming top amongst long distance operators for customer satisfaction – I want to see the line stay in public hands.
“The Government is determined to reprivatise East Coast and the fight for its future has been led by Labour MPs along the route – in Yorkshire, the North-East and in Scotland.
“Issues like this don’t just stop at Berwick and only Labour is committed to giving it the chance to continue running the line – separation won’t stop privatisation, only a Labour Government will ensure passengers are put first.”
“Labour Shadow Secretary of Transport Mary Creagh has made a commitment to a complete overhaul of the franchise system where operators make unrealistic bids which can only be achieved if corners are cut on services or ticket prices are hiked. East Coast’s results show there is another way.”