Taxpayer to bail out Southern trains

traintrackSouthern, the people who ferry dead-eyed commuters from London to the South Coast, are in trouble. And that means you are going to have to help them out (whether you like it or not). They've not made as much money as owners Go-Ahead (isn't that an awful faux-health bar?) hoped when it bid for the lucrative rail contract.

Under the terms of the deal, Go-Ahead is allowed to claim revenue support from the Government if this fallow period continues. This, of course, will not be welcome news for the new Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, who also has a potential judicial review hanging over him over the West Coast rail debacle where FirstGroup have been accused of winning the franchise based on "unrealistic" growth forecasts.

David Brown, chief executive of Go-Ahead, says: "It’s quite a tough job that they [the Southern team] have got to do but they are focused on trying to grow the top line still and get back onto that trajectory."

Bob Crow, leader of the RMT rail union, is shooting straight from the hip, saying the taxpayer support is like "corporate scrounging", adding: "This is yet another example of the one-way ticket to the bank for the private rail operators. If they can’t extract a fat profit they can fall back on the corporate welfare of revenue support."


  • Avon B.
    Is that the Bob Crow who receives £140,000 a year plus perks, yet continues to live in a subsidised council house?
  • The M.
    SO this is the formula: -Buy Train Franchise -Make Tickets so Expensive, less people travel on our services. -Less trains and staff required, meaning less outgoings. -There's less income too, but hey, we'll get the govt to make that up for us. -Cancel all trains, get subsidised fully by the Govt. Soon it will be like how the farmers make money from empty fields, there'll be train lins in name only, with no track, no trains and no passengers, just a big fat CEO raking in govt subsidies.
  • Avon E.
    Well Bob Crow is continuously elected, his pay affirmed by the members and is the only union leader that's produced a dramatic increase in membership, so he's clearly doing something right. And what's wrong with living in a Council property even if you're a high earner? If you don't believe in private land ownership and believe that the State has a duty to put a roof over the head of everyone (which he does) then he'd be hypocritical to do otherwise. As he's said himself several times, if he was 'greedy' he could quite easily have saved over time and used his salaries to buy-to-let, build up a nice property portfolio (like every high-earning prick out there that makes rent largely unaffordable) and make a killing on the rent as well as the overall rise in property prices. Living in a Council property is a strange way for someone to profit when they're able to purchase as comfortably as he is.
  • Alan
    Actually he shouldn't be able to live in a subsidised council house. Council housing is for people who cannot afford private rents which he clearly can. The council house waiting list is long enough and it would be shorter if he gave up his house. You said it, rent is largely unaffordable. And if he is not greedy why is he saving money by living in a council house?
  • Me
    Tube worker detected! CUNTS!!!!
  • Nikey H.
    Well spoken, The Disaffected Massive. Why doesn't the govt. just give this route to Virgin then ?
  • oliverreed
    @Avon Barksdale Should Remove The Sand Thrown In His Eyes - "and believe that the State has a duty to put a roof over the head of everyone" - he sounds like a cunt to me.
  • Mr. P.
    "the State has a duty to put a roof over the head of everyone". A basic tenet of Communist there. How's that working out?
  • Dick
    “the State has a duty to put a roof over the head of everyone”. Cardboard boxes are free in LIDL and ALDI, so they can pick them up with their cider.

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