24 April 2019
RMT Press Office:
RMT warns of total chaos as Virgin demands a rail franchise free for all
Rail union RMT today warned of total chaos on the railways as Virgin Trains called for a new era of wholesale deregulation that would effectively allow private operators to bid route by route, slot by slot for the most lucrative chunks of the network.Virgin have set out their proposals in their submission to the Government's Rail Review.
RMT warned that any such move would be a mirror of the Tory bus deregulation which saw companies queuing up on the streets to pick up passengers in dense areas of population at peak time while rural and lesser-used services were closed down wholesale.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“What Virgin are proposing this morning is a de-regulated free for all where private train operators slug it out on the most lucrative routes on a slot by slot basis . It would lead to total chaos with passengers trapped in a transport nightmare of escalating fares where prices rise by the minute according to availability.
“Virgin are actually proposing a version of the current broken rail franchising model pumped up on steroids when what is really needed is an end to this nonsense and public ownership of our railways.”