East Coast deal ‘better for taxpayers’

Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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Taxpayers will benefit from the re-privatisation of the East Coast main line, according to the rail minister.

Speaking at King’s Cross train station, Claire Perry said the level of investment needed on the route could only be met by the private sector.

As from Sunday the route is now operated by Virgin Trains having been under the control of the Department for Transport since November 2009.

The decision to re privatise the route has been met with strong opposition from trade unions and a number of Labour MPs, but Ms Perry said Directly Operated Railways – the company set up by the DfT to operate the line – was not investing enough in it.

She said the new agreement would mean “a better deal for taxpayers”. She said Virgin would bring “the best of the private sector”.

Consumer group Passenger Focus has expressed some concern about the move, namely Virgin’s decision to phase out the Rewards scheme for East Coast passengers in favour of the Nectar points loyalty scheme.

The group said the new scheme would “greatly reduce” the benefits available to passengers.

Copyright Press Association 2015

Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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