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So Lord Adonis did at least have the guts not to reward failure by National Express with the extension of their other two rail franchises. But that private company’s failure to continue with the East Coast line franchise because it could not make high enough profit is not the real issue here. Railways are a public service which need investment. Funny how governments always talk of subsidising railways but when it comes to road building or air travel that’s not subsidising, no that’s investment….

The real issue is that the whole privatisation process has been a failure.

The RMT told the BBC the latest franchise failure underlined the “continuing chaos of rail privatisation”.

“We are calling on the government to seize this golden opportunity to take National Express East Anglia back into public ownership, and for the sake of both passengers and staff we are delighted that the company’s days as a train operator are well and truly numbered,” said Bob Crow, RMT general secretary.

Meanwhile at the Integrated Transport Authority meeting today the privatisation of the Metro was not even on the agenda. Keep Metro Public will be having an open public meeting at the Tyneside Irish Centre, Gallowgate, Newcastle, next Tuesday 6pm. This will probably be the last meeting before the winning bid is announced, so we will be planning how to mark the death of our public Metro.

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