Between the Lines

Mainstream media coverage of the rail industry in this country continues to be patchy and ill-informed. For example, the general impression created by the coverage of the recent announcements on the future of the East Coast franchise is that a grasping and avaricious franchisee has skimmed massive profits from the initial years of the franchise and is now handing the keys back when things are starting to get difficult.

It goes something like this: the taxpayer is being robbed of billions of pounds in premium payments, in contrast to the position when the franchise was operated in the public sector and was paying lots of money back to government. Even people such as Lord Adonis, who really should know better, are pushing the line that this is a bailout for Stagecoach. This profiteering should stop!

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