Chair responds to East Coast rail announcement

16 May 2018

The Public Accounts Committee Chair responds to today’s statement by the Secretary of State for Transport

The Committee Chair, Meg Hillier MP, comments:

"Today’s announcement that East Coast mainline services are to be brought back under Government control offers a short-term fix for passengers but does nothing to address underlying and persistent concerns about the way our railways are operated.

As the Public Accounts Committee said last month, the franchising model is broken and passengers are paying the price.

The East Coast franchise failed for a third time because of wildly inaccurate passenger growth forecasts. Insufficient consideration was given to passengers’ best interests and real-world behaviour. Taxpayers deserve better.

Government must ensure it has learned the lessons of this sorry affair before any further franchises are awarded."

The Committee's full report on Rail Franchising, published 27 April 2018, is available here

Further information

Image: Chris Watt

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