The days of National Express running trains on the East Coast are very very numbered. Excellent news. On 12th December, the National Excess Fat Controller will be redundant. A new publicly-owned operator, called East Coast Main Line, (very original!) will operate the trains. The arrangement will last for at least 18 months. The franchise may or may not then return to the private sector. I am open minded as to whether that should happen. The issue that should govern the decision is whether or not such a move will lead to better services whilst cutting pollution and boosting the regional economy.
It is interesting to note however that the Government will not require an end to the new and controversial £5 seat reservation charge for return tickets. Labour will allow it to remain in place. All that bleating and gnashing of teeth by Labour in Gateshead in the summer about how bad this charge was now all looks a bit like a dose of hypocrisy from the "socialist" brethren.
Sent via BlackBerry