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Union reaction to Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine franchise announcement

Following this morning's announcement that the government intends to award the Northern Rail franchise to Arriva Rail North Limited, and the TransPennine Express franchise to First Trans Pennine Express Limited, there has been heated reaction from the RMT union.

General Secretary Mick Cash said:

"This widely-trailed announcement is no surprise but will still come as a bitter blow to rail users and rail staff across the North.

Rather than all the garbage about the Northern Powerhouse this morning's announcement opens the door to years of cuts to staff and safety and to profiteering on an epic scale.

RMT has waged a public fight against this carve up, engaging the public and local politicians, and that fight goes on. The battle for a publicly owned, people's railway will continue regardless of today's profit-driven fit up."