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Keep East Coast line public - Consett councillor
A COUNCILLOR is calling on the Government to abandon its plans to re-privatise the East Coast rail line.
Bob Glass, a Labour member of Durham County Council, has tabled a motion to be debated at January’s full council meeting (Wednesday, January 8).
It urges the Labour-led authority to call on Patrick McLoughlin, the Conservative Transport Secretary, to maintain the line in “public hands as a public sector comparator for other franchised rail networks and as a significant contributor to the public purse”.
The London to Edinburgh line is currently run by the state-owned Directly Operated Railways (DOR), but the Government is offering the franchise to private bidders from February 2015.
Recent figures show DOR paid more than £208m into the Government’s coffers over the last year, taking the total generated since 2009 to £640m.
DOR stepped in to run the line in 2009 after private operator National Express failed to meet agreed payments.
The Department for Transport says re-privatisation will the best option for passengers and the taxpayer.
Coun Glass represents Delves Lane, Consett.
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