Latest Rail News

28.08.12

Eagle calls for a public sector comparator for rail

The east coast mainline should remain in public control, the shadow transport secretary has suggested. Labour’s Maria Eagle has asserted that the mainly privatised rail network would benefit from a “public sector comparator”. 

The franchise was returned to public control in 2009 after National Express East Coast defaulted on the contract, just two years in, as it could not afford the franchise payments. 

In an interview with Progress magazine, she said: “I think having a public sector comparator is actually tremendously important. I don’t really think that east aoast as it currently runs has had enough of a chance to be that.” 

The Government opened a consultation in June this year with the aim of returning the contract to the private sector. Eagle claimed that this would be a mistake and told Progress: “There is a very strong argument for not doing that and just letting east coast see what it can do and supporting it in doing that.” 

She added: “I’m not interested in setting up some monolithic, centrally-run-from-my-desk nationalised body to run everything. There is a chance for us, as we go into office next time, to let go and to actually empower local communities.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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