RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch said: “Avanti are one of the worst rail companies on the network and it is a travesty that they have been awarded this contract.
“From supplying inappropriate uniforms to staff, mass cancellation of train services and multiple industrial disputes, Avanti have been an unmitigated disaster.
“They are incapable of running an efficient rail service or treating the staff properly.
“CrossCountry are little better often failing to employ enough staff to run services properly and being more concerned with profit margins than delivering for passengers.
“By granting companies like Avanti and CrossCountry with lucrative taxpayer funded contracts, the government is rewarding abject failure and exposing how corrupt the current system is.
“Greedy rail privateers should have no place on our railways and that’s why the whole network must be brought into public ownership as a matter of urgency, in the best interests of passengers and railway workers.”