Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

MP's Ire over Rail Route Plans

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

MP's Ire over Rail Route Plans

Article excerpt

A TEESSIDE MP has poured scorn on government plans to take a major rail route, which serves the Teesside area, out of public ownership.

A shortlist of three bidders has been announced by Rail Minister Steven Hammond to run the East Coast Mainline rail route, which has been in public ownership for five years.

But the government wants to reprivatise the 393-mile London to Edinburgh route - which connects passengers from Teesside with the capital from Darlington - early next year.

But Labour's MP for Middlesbrough Andy McDonald said: "This is pure, raw ideology. There is no justifiable economic case for bringing the successful public running of East Coast to an end.

"This simply lands the British taxpayer with years more of having to subsidise another franchise and highly likely, that just like the other franchises, we'll see our taxes being used to pay for continental European railways."

The three bidders for the line are FirstGroup, a joint bid by Eurostar and French firm Keolis, and another from Virgin and Stagecoach. …

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