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That this House commends the public ownership of the East Coast rail franchise which has paid £602 million in premium payments since 2009; recognises this is £232 million more than National Express paid back during its tenure and over £209 million more than the amount paid in by Virgin/Stagecoach on the West Coast Mainline since 2009; notes that Europe's more unified publicly-owned railways cost less to run and provide cheaper fares; is aware of the recent report by the Centre for Research on Social-Cultural Change at the University of Manchester which found that private rail investment and innovation is minimal and that passenger increases have been due to economic growth not privatisation; is concerned rail privatisation is leading to ever higher fares and staff cuts; believes there is now overwhelming evidence that the interests of passengers, taxpayers, the economy and environment could be better served by a unified railway under public ownership, with fairer fares and proper staffing levels; and calls for early consideration of how this could be achieved along with the retention of the East Coast franchise under public ownership.
Total number of signatures: 61
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