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TAXPAYERS are coughing up compensation to rail privateers for lost revenue during last week’s snow, rail union RMT highlighted yesterday.
The union is calling on MPs to raise the issue in Parliament and demanded to know how much taxpayers’ cash is being paid to the privateers.
Under the terms of the franchises handed out by the Tories, taxpayer-funded Network Rail foots the bill for losses operators suffer due to bad weather.
Network Rail maintains the tracks and infrastructure of the rail network.
The government’s Office of Rail and Road said compensation payments to privateers were intended to “incentivise” Network Rail to keep disruption to a minimum and “reduce the risk” to private operators.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the union was “demanding to know how much the taxpayer has shovelled into the pockets of the private train companies during the adverse weather.
“The whole racket on our railways was rigged from the off by the Tories so that the profits are privatised and the risks are carried by the public.
“It’s a scandal that has led to a bail-out culture on our railways which is being exploited by the train operators while passengers are freezing in luggage racks on broken-down trains.”
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