Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The demise of National Express as the Fat Controller

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

1 comment:

Johnny said...

£5 is a complete rip off considering that some tickets are barely that expensive. How can they justify this?

At the same time, I am sure you have noticed the ticket barriers going up in central station, cutting off access to toilets, cash machines, shops and platforms, important amenities even for non-travelling patrons of the station. it also means people cannot pick up or drop off people at the station as they once could and will make bottlenecks and difficult getting through with heavy luggage. not only is it greedy and disfiguring, it's also poorly thought out.