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Leave East Coast in public hands
I SO enjoy The Press but particularly enjoyed business editor Laura Knowlson’s hard-hitting and factual report on the East Coast railway (The Press, October 9).
Laura is to be congratulated for the way she gathered her facts about the East Coast route, which is to be given away in February 2015 to any franchisee in the world.
East Coast is the cherry on the railway cake. It is hard to understand why any Government, of whatever colour, would be oblivious to the facts when one of our best transport assets is working so efficiently.
It’s a gift for any company to be given an option to franchise a British company with a track record of increased turnover (4.2 per cent) , increasing profit, of continuing investment, of carrying 36 per cent more passengers per train than the next busiest operator.
Laura’s was the best read for many months. I am an ex-railway worker, made redundant twice by British Rail, under which – as a Tory Government prepared for the privatisation of our railway – I worked on the north main line electrification in our area.
Dennis Barton, Woodthorpe, York.
• THE only railway owned the people, the East Coast Line, is returning to us £1 billion over five years.
Its subsidy from our kitty, which all railways receive, is by far the lowest. Directly Operated Railways (DOR), the company set up by the Department for Transport to run it for us, carries most customers of all. They are showing improved customer satisfaction, sales, turnover, profits and punctuality, since National Express handed it back from the few to us the many four years ago.
The Government for the few is intent on putting it back in their hands, like the Post Office, NHS and everything else.
It will go out for tender to Eurostar in a joint bid with the French company Keolis. And we think we count? Not to the few! And they hold all the cards.
I, as one of the many it belongs to, strongly object, not that it matters, George Appleby, Leighton Croft, Clifton, York.
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