MP wants East Coast profits invested in improved service

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labour’s Mark Lazarowicz has hit out at reprivatisation of East Coast trains and called for profits to be reinvested to improve the service.

In a Commons debate the Edinburgh North & Leith MP highlighted the good record of the public sector company running the line and called on the Government to ditch ideology and allow it to remain publicly operated.

He said the profits which East Coast trains make which go to the Government could be used to improve the infrastructure of the line.

He said: “The East Coast Line returned £209 million to the taxpayer last year – that’s the UK taxpayer at a time when ten out of the 18 UK franchises are run by companies owned by the German, Dutch or French state-run rail companies.

“It also received the second lowest government subsidy of any train operator underlining that a public sector company can be a success and not a drain on the state.

“Set that against private companies having to give up the contract for the line because they found they weren’t able to make it pay. This is a chance to modernise the infrastructure of the line which was electrified on the cheap in the 1990s under the then Conservative Government.

“Far better to let the public operator reinvest its profits and for those resources to be used to build an even better service rather than wasting time and money on reprivatising it.”