Union accused of 'scaremongering' over Third Class train travel (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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RMT union says lowly Third Class tickets could be introduced on East Coast trains
A GOVERNMENT department has accused the RMT union of “scaremongering” after it suggested that East Coast main line trains will offer a lowly third class seating option in the future.
The RMT used its website to reveal excerpts of the leaked East Coast franchise prospectus which is not due to be formally published until Monday.
According to the RMT, the document gives rail bidders the option of establishing an intermediate class between standard and first – opening up the route to offering a third class service on the East Coast line.
Bob Crowe, RMT leader said this could lead to “a Ryanair model with passengers rammed in to creaking cattle trucks with a surcharge for everything from your bags to using the lavatories”.
However, a Department for Transport spokesman described the notion as “ridiculous” and said: “This is ill-informed scaremongering from the RMT.
“By choosing to release inaccurate information, they are misleading the public.
“We have no intention of requiring a “third class” service, reducing performance levels, or in any way devaluing this vital railway.
“As the independent Brown Review concluded, franchising works for passengers and taxpayers alike.”
A spokesman for East Coast said the company will maintain its first and standard seats, and is "committed to investing in its services to continue to improve its customer experience".
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