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etvfutures.com May 22, 2018


Government to 'renationalise' East Coast rail after string of failures

16 May 2018, 05:31 | Opal Carroll

Exclusive: Government to 'renationalise' East Coast rail after string of failures

British government takes direct control of East Coast franchise

Whilst I am confident that my constituents will notice very little difference in the day-to-day operation of services following the change from Virgin Trains East Coast to the recreated LNER, it is important that we address the reasons why East Coast have failed in the first place.

The new service will be rebranded as the London and North Eastern Railway.

"East Coast is now the top-rated franchised train service in Great Britain - with 92 per cent overall satisfaction with the last journey in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey".

He added: 'Stagecoach will be held to all of its contractual obligations in full'.

The Stagecoach (90%) - Virgin (10%) joint venture was awarded an eight-year contract in November 2014 to operate inter-city services between London King's Cross, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness.

United Kingdom government will take back control of the running of the rail route between London and Edinburgh from private operator Stagecoach (temporarily) after the company failed to make the contract work financially.

He said: "Every announcement is a smokescreen to divert attention from the failings of the Transport Secretary's policy".

Stagecoach's chief executive Martin Griffiths estimated the company's total losses at £260m, in February.

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"I plan to use a period of Operator of Last Resort control to shape the new partnership".

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is expected to make a statement to parliament shortly.

"After three shambolic private sector failures on the East Coast the message should now sink in that these cowboys can not be trusted and should be locked out of the system on a permanent basis".

'They will then begin the task of working with Network Rail to bring together the teams operating the track and trains on the LNER network'.

Mr Grayling said he has received "official advice" that Virgin and Stagecoach should be allowed to continue bidding for future rail franchises.

The failure of the current East Coast contract under the pro-privatisation Conservative government plays into the hands of the opposition Labour party who have pledged to nationalise industries like rail and water.

Grayling also said that the government was assessing options for transferring some Govia Thameslink Railway commuter services operating on the ECML to LNER when the TSGN franchise ends in 2021 and enhanced cross-London services have been implemented under the Thameslink Programme.



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