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TSSA brands TfL consultation a ‘sham’

TRANSPORT union TSSA has branded the Department for Transport (DfT)’s public consultation on the Cross Country Rail Network a “sham.”

The national consultation, which closes today, is being conducted ahead of the service being put out for tender to potential franchisees next month.

The current franchise, which stretches across Scotland, will be run by Arriva Trains, a subsidiary of Germany’s state-owned Deutsche Bahn, until December 2019.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said that the lack of real scrutiny by transport secretary Chris Grayling in the consultation shows “contempt and disregard” for commuters.

He added: “These public consultations ahead of new tendering processes have proved themselves to be more of a sham than any genuine attempt by government to recognise and meet passengers’ needs.”

Mr Cortes said that the public are “fed up to their back teeth of unreliable and, too often, cancelled services, prohibitively expensive fares with a Byzantine structure which sees arbitrary peak times aiding dangerous overcrowding.”

Public ownership is the only way forward for the rail industry, he concluded.

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