Rail Franchising

Part of NHS Winter Crisis – in the House of Commons at 4:21 pm on 10th January 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andy McDonald Andy McDonald Shadow Secretary of State for Transport 4:21 pm, 10th January 2018

Indeed. That point is entirely consistent with the issues I am putting before the House.

Labour would not have let Virgin-Stagecoach off the hook on the east coast franchise. To return to what my right hon. Friend Hilary Benn said, did the Secretary of State consider taking the east coast franchise into the public sector following the default—yes or no? Does the Secretary of State not worry that, because he refuses to use a public sector operator even as a last resort, struggling train companies now know he has no option but to bail them out in the event of a failure?

Such failures are not confined to the east coast franchise. Today’s National Audit Office report highlights a litany of errors in the Government’s planning and management of the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise. Those blunders have caused misery to millions of people, and it is the Government’s disastrous handling of the franchise that led to industrial action on the line.