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28/04/2014 - East Coast Railway cuts feared

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Northumberland may lose key rail links if the ConDem government get away with their plans to sell off the publicly-owned East Coast route.

The new franchise agreement does not have enough guarantees written into it for services from Morpeth, Alnmouth and Berwick after the proposed re-privatisation in March 2015 – just weeks ahead of the next general election.

Early morning connections to Newcastle and London could go as the minimum service levels are re-written to suit the all-out drive for profits of the private sector.

Rail Union RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said: “It is scandalous that the government are prepared to give the private sector vultures hovering over the East Coast route a green light to rip up the timetable and to leave passengers and communities cut-off and stranded in the name of private greed and private profit.

“The campaign to stop Ministers from wrecking the highly-successful, publicly-operated East Coast services in order to suit their own ideology, and to line the pockets of their mates in big-business, will be stepped up. After two previous private sector failures we have no intention of allowing a third reckless gamble on the East Coast that would not only destroy the best-performing rail operation anywhere in Britain but also leave whole communities without proper transport links.”