Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (27th June 2012) hit out at a government announcement that they were opening consultation on the shape and form of a new sell-off of the East Coast Mainline Railway to the private sector via a twelve year franchise.
“Here we have a government with possibly only 3 years of life left seeking to lock up the ownership of the mainline serving the Tees Valley and the North East well into the 2020’s.
“Such an approach simply closes off possible service alterations to accommodate the new High Speed 2 Line in such a way that the North East really benefits, or the possibility of a future parliament looking at different structures for our railways in the future, such as seeing it as being back in the public sector and again properly integrated with what is today’s Network Rail.
“It could also block off moves to widen the existing East Coast operation so that it once again gives Middlesbrough direct London services.
“It is yet again another case of the coalition partners in government putting their anti-social free market agenda before public need and public expectations.”