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Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Scotland-London rail services to be brought under public control

Scotland-London rail services to be brought under public control

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

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.

The services will be taken into public control three years after Virgin East Coast began operating and trains will now temporarily be run by the Department for Transport (DfT) through an operator of last resort (OLR).

Speaking in the Chamber today, Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald claimed Grayling had treated the Commons with contempt by failing to provide the opposition with an electronic copy of the statement.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said he would terminate the contract with Virgin Trains East Coast from the end of next month.

The government today renationalised Britain's East Coast railway, stripping Stagecoach of its loss-making franchise.

Services had been run by the DfT for six years up to VTEC taking over in 2015.

"Deputy leader of City of York Council Andrew Waller said he would be writing to Mr Grayling immediately:to seek assurances and guarantees of stability for residents, commuters and workers in York".

He expected the majority of the enhanced services planned by Virgin and Stagecoach for delivery by 2023 to be implemented by LNER, although this would largely depend on the ability of infrastructure manager Network Rail to deliver them.

The Minister was keen to stress that there will be no apparent changes to train services and all tickets will be valid for future travel, and while Virgin and Stagecoach have been stripped of this franchise the companies will be allowed to continue as train operators.

"It is now essential Virgin and Stagecoach are barred from bidding for any future franchises".

Mr Grayling, who has previously insisted there was "no question of anyone receiving a bailout", told Parliament that taxpayers had not lost any money "at this time".

Those advocating renationalisation across the piece should be asking themselves whether DOR would have been able to run the service it did had it been obliged to invest as much in the route as did Virgin Trains or if it were having to return as much to taxpayers as Virgin Trains.

The Government will renationalise one of Britain's busiest railway lines after its private operators admitted they could not afford to keep running it.

Stagecoach and Virgin Trains got their bid wrong and they are now paying the price.

Stagecoach's chief executive, Martin Griffiths, said the firm was "surprised and disappointed" by the decision.

He added when the franchise "was run it the public sector, it returned more than £1bn to the Treasury".

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