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Government create rail cartel

3 December 2015

TSSA Rail union chief Manuel Cortes has today accused the government of setting up cartels to run our railways.

TSSA Rail union chief Manuel Cortes has today accused the government of setting up cartels to run our railways. His claim comes in response to the government's announcement that it is extending London Midland's contract to run services until October 2017.

Cortes wants to know why Rail Minister Claire Perry has granted an extension to the London Midland rail contract without any competitive tendering process. He is also angered that Perry has paid £13 million from the public purse to the private rail company to help it lay on extra seats and offer free wi-fi.

"This extension has just been awarded without any aspect of the "competitive" tendering process that privatisation was supposed to usher in. The Tory Government has already flogged off the most successful part of the UK’s mainline railways – East Coast, which surely should and could have been extended as a model across our railways. Ensuring all money made, is always reinvested right back into our railways.

"Claire Perry has just created a cosy cartel to run the London Midland service - and gifted it £13 million for the privilege.

"She's made sure London Midland shareholders will continue to get their dividends but done nothing for their passengers who will continue to pay Rolls Royce prices to ride in cattle trucks.

"Rail travel is a public good and should be run in the interests of passengers and taxpayers whose money should be invested in properly managed, not for profit, publicly owned railways.

"Rails passengers in Britain are paying the highest prices in Europe with some of the worst rolling stock.

"Extending contracts without competition creates cartels but it also shows there is little appetite in big business for running railways without public subsidy.

"Public ownership as rail unions keep telling this government, is the only way to build an integrated modern 21st century rail system that provides both seats and free wifi at a fair price to both passenger and public purse."

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