Party Leader welcomes East Coast rail move

A Virgin East Coast train at Leeds station      Picture: Stephen Craven

Stewart Arnold, Leader of the Yorkshire Party, has welcomed the decision to bring the East Coast rail franchise into public ownership.

Speaking while on a visit to Northallerton, he said: “This is a good move for East Coast and for Yorkshire.

“It shows that what’s in the best interest of Yorkshire need not be ideologically driven. So, for example, there has to be room on our rail network for both public and private operators.

“I hope the two main parties learn from this and put the best interests of people first and not ideology. Tribal dogma has not served Yorkshire well over the years.”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told the Commons that temporary state ownership would provide the smoothest transition to a new operator.

The service will be renamed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), a brand last used in the 1940s.

The BBC reported that it was the third time in 10 years that the Government had had to call a halt to the East Coast franchise. The London-to-Edinburgh line had been run by a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin, since 2015.


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