News broke this week that despite higher rail fares and poor unreliable services, Avanti bosses have been boasting about “free money” from the taxpayer that they say is “too good to be true” on PowerPoints during internal company meetings.
It has been reported that one of PowerPoint slides read “roll up, roll up get your free money here!” and this is in relation to how the Department for Transport continues to funnel taxpayers’ money into Avanti’s pockets and which their poor performance does not warrant.
For doing the bare minimum, the Government continue to reward Avanti’s failures through performance bonuses, and they celebrate this knowing that it is undeserving.
Train operating companies are laughing at us, and the Government’s decision in September to extend Avanti’s contract for up to nine years was a political move by the Conservatives to thwart Labour’s ambitions to bring rail back into public hands.
But we cannot give up. We must stop giving private contracts to failing rail companies and put more power in the hands of local communities to make decisions about public transport, so it works for people, not for profit.