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East Coast is your line - Let's keep it that way

21 June 2013

A public campaign to win rail passengers support for keeping the East Coast line between London and Aberdeen in public hands was launched by Labour and trade union leaders today.

Campaign launch 5110

The party's shadow transport minister Maria Eagle joined rail union leaders Manuel Cortes, TSSA, and Aslef's Mick Whelan, leafleting passengers at Kings Cross station in the capital urging them: "Keep East Coast On Track."

Labour MPs, members and union activists also leafleted passengers along the line at Newark, Doncaster, Darlington, Durham, and Newcastle.

They want passengers to join them in fighting the Government's decision to sell off the line which has paid over £600 million to the Treasury since being re-nationalised in 2009.

Maria Eagle said: "Despite the East Coast being recognised as the most cost effective franchise by the independent rail regulator ORR, David Cameron wants to sell it off before the next election.

"It is a public sector success story which he does not want voters to know about. We do and need their help to keep it in public hands.".

Manuel Cortes, TSSA leader, said: "The success of the East Coast line has exposed the myth that private rail companies offer better value for money to the taxpayer. They don't, they swallow more subsidies and run slower trains."

Mick Whelan, Aslef general secretary, added: "A recent report by CRESC highlighted the charade of public investment in the railway which only emphasises the importance of East Coast as a not for profit train operator.

"That is why it has paid more money to the Treasury than any rail company since privatisation and is one of the best performing operators.

"That is also why Labour and its affiliates are fighting to keep it in public hands at a time when the public have had enough of increasing fares."

For more details, see you East Coast campaign pages at www.tssa.org.uk/our-east-coast

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