TSSA welcomes legal ruling over Stagecoach franchise bid

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has welcomed a High Court ruling that the Government's decision to block Stagecoach from bidding for three separate rail franchises due to a row over pensions was lawful.

The rail operator sued the Department for Transport (DfT) for disqualifying it from bidding for the East Midlands, West Coast and South Eastern franchises for refusing to accept the risk of pensions liabilities proposed by the Government.

The Stagecoach claims were thrown out today (Wednesday) in a judgement delivered remotely by Mr Justice Stuart-Smith.

Manuel Cortes said: 

"This is to be welcomed. Thankfully the privateers’ gravy train has finally hit the buffers. The Government now needs to finish the job by bringing our railways lock, stock and barrel into public ownership.

"It's ludicrous that since the start of the Coronavirus heath emergency taxpayers have supported our railways with £3.5 billion whilst the privateers have been allowed to make a 2 per cent profit.

"If this wasn't bad enough, the eye-watering six figure salaries of the private company fat cats running our railways are now being met by the public purse.

"This whole episode in the courts shows us again that it is long past time to draw a line in the sand and end the Tories failed Frankenstein privatisation experiment."