Can you believe it? Last night, Chris Grayling said that (temporary) public ownership of the East Coast line is ‘very much on the table’!
The current situation is apparently urgent, Stagecoach and Virgin can’t deliver, and the Transport Secretary says we need a solution before the franchise collapses.
Grayling has asked his department to look at two options for the East Coast line until 2020.
Which team are you on?
1) #TeamStagecoach - Stagecoach continues on a not for profit basis
Renegotiate with Stagecoach so they can run the line on a not for profit basis (presumably they wouldn’t deliver on the payments they’ve promised, and the government will also allow them to bid again in 2020 and on other franchises).
You're probably #TeamStagecoach
If you’re a shareholder. Stagecoach shares jumped 13% when Grayling said the franchise was ending early. If your main concern is keeping Stagecoach in business on our railways, you'll be happy with this option
If you’re ideological about rail privatisation and want to defend it at all costs
If you’re Brian Souter the Looter
If you’re Richard #BransonBailout
2) #TeamPublicEastCoast - Public ownership
Bring the East Coast line into public ownership, to be run by the Department for Transport (Directly Operated Rail has been privatised so we’d need to make sure it was brought into public hands, and make sure the government doesn’t just contract out the work to private companies).
You're probably #TeamPublicEastCoast
If you’re a passenger: last time East Coast was in public hands, customer satisfaction levels were at 94%, the best for any long distance franchise
If you’re the public: last time East Coast was in public hands, it was the most efficient franchise in the UK
If you want a railway that is more democratically accountable to passengers and the public
If you want the chance to start building an integrated, national rail network that is more efficient, less fragmented and saves us over £1 billion a year
BUT he’s actively considering public ownership. 76% of us want the railways in public hands. Now we’ve got a chance of actually making it happen!
LIKE and SHARE if you're #TeamPublicEastCoast.