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

Avanti West Coast staff bolster policing teams during COVID-19 crisis

Avanti West Coast Police Specials. To help with the Covid-19 crisis, some Avanti West Coast staff have swapped...

Upgraded signalling leads to shorter waiting times at level crossings in East Suffolk

Essential new equipment, that will make level crossings safer and reduce waiting times at user worked level crossings, has been installed along...

Trespassers at risk near Whitby, North Yorkshire

Walkers in the area of Sleights, about five miles southwest of Whitby in North Yorkshire, are being warned not to trespass on...

Fugro to conduct RILA survey of Network Rail’s Western route

Network Rail has contracted Fugro to conduct a RILA survey of a major part the rail network on the Western route in...

Welsh railways to receive up to £65 million to help keep services running

The Welsh Government has announced that it will spend up to £65 million over the next six months to ensure train services...