Rail Minister: public ownership of East Coast Mainline was only ever 'temporary measure'

The current government agrees with Maria Eagle's Labour predecessors who were always completely clear that taking East Coast into public ownership was only ever a temporary measure.

Like them, we recognise that franchising has delivered huge benefits to rail travellers, with passenger numbers doubling and major improvements in safety.

With £240 million allocated for investment in infrastructure improvements on the East Coast line, as well as a fleet of new long distance trains, it is now the right time for an innovative private sector partner to be introduced to capitalise on these opportunities and maximise the benefits for passengers.

The Labour Party needs to tell people whether they still believe in franchising or whether they would like to take our railways back to the dark days of British Rail."

– Rail Minister, Simon Burns

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East Coast Mainline debate

MPs have accused the government of re-privatising the East Coast Mainline franchise simply 'for the sake of it'. The Labour party wants the government to abandon the plans.