Rail unions seek review over East Coast privatisation

Three rail unions are calling for a judicial review into the Government's decision to privatise the East Coast mainline.

Review requested into East Coast privatisation
Review requested into East Coast privatisation Credit: Press Association

ASLEF, RMT and TSSA believe that their members’ jobs and conditions, as well as the interests of passengers and taxpayers, are threatened by the Government’s failure to adequately consult over the future of East Coast.

The unions have significant concerns that despite the Brown review of rail franchising recommending that the procurement for rail franchise should take place over a minimum of 24 months, the Government is rushing through the privatisation of East Coast

They argue that, in its haste to push services back into the private sector, the Government has cut corners, including breaching its own commitment to proper consultation of stakeholders, including passenger groups and the rail unions.

ASLEF, RMT and TSSA are conscious of the disastrous end to the InterCity East Coast franchises run by GNER and National Express as well as the Department for Transport mistakes in the InterCity West Coast franchising competition.

The Unions are concerned that there is again the risk that overbidding by private operators and inadequate and rushed evaluation of the bids will, as on previous occasions, lead to cuts to staff and services and even the franchise collapsing again.

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