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TSSA West Midlands Trains Nationalisation Call

3 February 2020

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has reacted with scorn to the announcement that West Midlands Trains (WMT) is to be allowed to continue running services across the region.

Cortes commented after Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor (Conservative), said he would not carry out his threat to ask the Department for Transport to strip WMT of the franchise after a blizzard of complaints about delays, cancellations and overcrowding on lines through the Black Country, Birmingham and Shropshire.

Street said the company would remain "under strict review" and again warned of a threat to remove the franchise.

Manuel Cortes said: “Andy Street knows it’s only a matter of time before this failing private franchise goes the same way as Northern. He should act now by doing the right thing and telling Transport Secretary Shapps that West Midlands Trains have zero chance of improvement.

“It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is yet more evidence that franchising has failed. We need our railways in public hands now - that is the only way to sort out this mess.

“The game is up for the failed franchising model and it’s now time to re-name the Operator of Last Resort - ‘Operator of First Choice’. Someone should tell Street that prolonging the inevitable does the travelling public literally no service at all.”

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