Home Franchise News Inquiry launched into East Coast franchise failure

Inquiry launched into East Coast franchise failure

Serious questions are to be asked of Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), Network Rail and transport ministers over the failure of the East Coast franchise.

That is the message from transport committee chair Lilian Greenwood who has launched an inquiry into the franchise’s imminent collapse.

VTEC will be the third rail franchise on the East Coast to collapse in just over 10 years.

Operations were last taken back into public ownership, through Directly Operated Railways under the brand name East Coast Trains, in 2009.

Moving ahead, transport secretary Chris Grayling has set out two options for the interim period to 2020: services to be taken in-house and operated by the Department for Transport; or a short-term and not-for-profit arrangement with VTEC.


Like this story? Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on rail industry news


The committee’s inquiry will look at lessons learned from this and previous franchise failure, the best way forward in the short and longer term, and the wider implications of the failure for the franchising system.

Committee chair Lilian Greenwood said: “This failure – not once, but three times – has drawn criticism from all corners.

“The failure of the East Coast franchise has wider implications for rail franchising and the competitiveness of the current system. Lessons need to be learned by all concerned.

“In the meantime, the Department for Transport must take the right steps to protect passengers and taxpayers. Safeguards must be put in place to restore public confidence in the sustainability of our railways.”


Read more: Chris Grayling says Stagecoach ‘got its sums wrong’ as he prepares to terminate East Coast franchise early


 

Recommended

Hatfield remembered, twenty years on

Twenty years ago, on 17 October 2000, a train derailed just south of Hatfield station while travelling at around 115mph.  Four people...

Two new Black Country railway stations receive planning approval

Planning permission has been granted for two new railway stations on the Walsall to Wolverhampton line, marking a major milestone in the...

Lubricants firm supports world’s first preserved railway

The world’s first preserved railway is one of 50 heritage and steam railways across the UK that is receiving support from a...

Car crashes onto tracks at Stirling station

In a bizarre incident, a car crashed through a fence at Stirling station on Wednesday 14 October 2020 and ended up on...

Porterbrook wins with HydroFLEX

BusinessGreen’s Transport Project of the Year award has gone to Porterbrook for the UK’s first hydrogen train, HydroFLEX. The...