Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Edinburgh to London train line to be come under state ownership

Edinburgh to London train line to be come under state ownership

Stagecoach reported losses on the line, and in November previous year Grayling announced that the franchise would be terminated in 2020 to enable it to become a public-private railway.

Stagecoach said on Wednesday that the government had scrapped the contract, three months after Transport Minister Chris Grayling said he was considering taking back control of the line which it has run since 2015.

"I plan to use a period of operator of last resort control to shape the new partnership", said Mr Grayling.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling is expected to announce the fate of the East Coast rail franchise "within days".

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, told the House of Commons that after a "finely balanced" assessment by civil servants, he had made a decision to appoint the "operator of last resort" - a group led by the firm Arup and under government control - to run the service, rather than allow Stagecoach and Virgin to continue under fresh terms.

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Stagecoach pledged to "work constructively with the DfT and the OLR in the weeks ahead to ensure a professional transfer to the new arrangements". So I am instructing the new board, working with my officials, to bring forward proposals which enable employees to share directly in the success of LNER both as a pure train operator and subsequently as the new partnership.

But Stagecoach reported losses on the line and in November past year Mr Grayling announced that the franchise would be terminated in 2020 to enable it to become a public-private railway. The company also has already funded its full GBP165 million loan commitment to the East Coast franchise.

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

"During that time, we have attracted more passengers, greatly increased investment, achieved industry leading customer satisfaction and made significant payments to the taxpayer to reinvest in public services".

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