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The privatisation of our Metro goes from bad to worse.

Only one private company, Deutsche Bahn, is now left in the bidding process to run the Metro train operations, following the Dutch company Serco-NED’s pull-out last Friday. They gave no reason, just as the Hong-Kong rail company gave none when they pulled out earlier this year.

But actually there are two. A new private company, Nexus Rail, has been set up and although referred to as the in-house bid this is still a separate and private company, with different directors. This is conveniently ignored by some of the region’s MPs and the councillors who argue we should simply support the in-house bid and that if it succeeds it won’t be privatisation. Then again, they (along with Nexus’s boss Bernard Garner) argue that none of this is privatisation at all – that bringing in a private company to run the trains for the next nine years, at a profit of up to 15%, is simply a market testing procedure to ensure “Best Value”.

Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, said

“We know that at least a million pounds has been wasted on the Tyne and Wear Metro privatisation drive so far – money that could have been invested back into the service.

“Now we are down to just one private bidder in a move from competitive tendering to what looks very much like monopoly tendering. This whole ill-conceived privatisation scheme should be scrapped now before more damage is done and even more money is wasted.”

We need to keep the pressure up – we could still turn this around, especially after the re-nationalisation of the East Coast mainline and the u-turn on privatisation of the Royal Mail in the summer.

So join the Keep Metro Campaign – there are local groups in all 5 boroughs of Tyne and Wear – I’m the Co-ordinator of S Tyneside!

The next public meeting Tuesday November 3rd, 6pm at the Tyneside Irish Centre in Newcastle – speakers invited from RMT, Unison and Unite.

Contact: KMP Secretary, Kevin Flynn at Newcastle Trades Council Building, 4 The Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE 0191 232 4606


One Comment

  1. Really it’s no surprise Labour’s pushing this through. I mean, after the stunning success of the Tories’ rail privatisation and Brown’s PFI on the Tube.


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