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SWR Shows Game Up For Failed Franchising - Cortes

22 January 2020

The Department for Transport has today (Wednesday) issued an update on South Western Railway, saying that the operator's recent financial statements indicate "that the franchise is not sustainable in the long-term".

The improvements being sought by the DfT to keep these services in the hands of SWR in the short-term are something out of Alice in Wonderland and have no basis in the real world.

The Department confirmed that contingency measures are being looked into, including “transferring the operation to the Operator of Last Resort (OLR), a public sector operator wholly owned by the department”.

Commenting on the update, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes declared “the game is up for the failed franchising model” and said it was now time to re-name the Operator of Last Resort to the ‘Operator of First Choice’.

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: “I am starting to lose count of how many times taxpayers have to rescue failing private rail operators, with South Western Rail now joining the long list.

“The game is up for the failed franchising model which time and again sees ordinary people picking up the tab when operators can no longer make a profit.

“Just like in our NHS and utilities, the Tories manufactured an imaginary railway market which has been an abysmal failure.

“It’s now time to re-name the Operator of Last Resort to the ‘Operator of First Choice’ and for Johnson to bite the bullet and bring our entire rail network, lock, stock and barrel back into public ownership.”


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