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Union condemns ‘spivs and speculators’ after East Coast franchise ‘failures’

Calls have been made for the line to remain permanently in public ownership.

The biggest rail workers union staged a protest on Monday in support of re-nationalising the East Coast mainline.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union held up banners and flags outside Edinburgh’s Waverley station, demanding a permanent end to privatisation of the route.

General secretary Mick Cash said: “The protest is sending out the clearest possible message to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling that the fight for public ownership of our railways is stepping up a notch.

“If you want to see the failures of Britain’s privatised railway system writ large look no further than the East Coast mainline where a succession of expensive corporate disasters have seen this crucial inter-city service lurch from crisis to crisis.

“The only stable period in the past two decades came under the publicly owned Directly Operated Railways.

“What we need now is permanent public ownership and not some short-term lash up as a holding operation before Chris Grayling gives another bunch of spivs and speculators a spin of the wheel.”

The RMT is holding its annual conference in Edinburgh this week.

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