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Manuel Cortes calls for public ownership of Greater Anglia after Dutch subsidy revelation

17 October 2018

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called for Greater Anglia to be placed in public hands after it emerged taxpayers in the Netherlands have effectively subsidised the franchise to the tune of £80 million over the past two years.

 Greater Anglia is jointly owned by Abellio – part of Dutch State Railways – and the Japanese investment company, Mitsui, with the franchise awarded just two years ago.

Now the owners are reported to be holding urgent talks with the government in a bid to change the funding model.

News of the £80 million subsidy package has prompted reports that British and Dutch transport ministers are on course for a showdown over future funding of Greater Anglia.

Lilian Greenwood, Chair of the Commons Transport Committee, has expressed concern saying it looks like the franchise is “in trouble”.

Manuel Cortes said: “There is only one clear way out of this mess before things really become serious for passengers – put Greater Anglia in public hands.

“This looks like being just the latest example of a bust and broken rail franchising model. The travelling public deserves better, Britain deserves better, we need a nationalised rail service.

“We have ended up in the crazy situation of foreign governments propping up our private rail franchises. Even the Tories and Failing Chris Grayling must now surely be able to see what millions of passengers can see - things have to change, and fast. Greater Anglia should follow Virgin East Coast back into public ownership immediately.”


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