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Scrap rail franchising

24 November 2015

TSSA rail union leader Manuel Cortes is urging the government to scrap the reform of the rail franchising programme.

His call coincides with today's publication of the National Audit Office report  into rail franchising  following the collapse of the InterCity West Coast competition.

The NAO report highlights "considerable uncertainty and volatility around the rail infrastructure improvement programme" and recognises "there are risks to effective competition should market interest decline."

"The Department recognises these challenges and is taking steps to address them.”

Responding to the report, Manuel said: "Franchising doesn't need reform, it needs scrapping. Since privatisation, the dice has been fully loaded in favour of the privateers who continue making handsome profits whilst passenger face year-on-year fare hikes.

"Its hardly surprising that given this, opinion polls show overwhelmingly support for bringing our railways back into public ownership. This is the only sure way to end the great fare rip-off.

"Sadly, the Tories won't do this as they would rather see us pay the highest fares in Europe which  shows how they put their own ideologically rigidness before the facts when it comes proper running of the railways."

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