Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Scotland-London rail services to be brought under public control

Scotland-London rail services to be brought under public control

Speaking to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling defended the government's handling of the service. He said: "They have paid a high financial and reputational price".

The renationalisation of the road is anticipated to final for the subsequent two years, earlier than a brand new â€public-private partnership model” will probably be launched.

"Privatised rail is broken beyond fix yet the Tories are still handing these services back to the private sector because they are wedded to a broken free market ideology".

"Today's decision should not detract from the hard work and dedication of our people at Virgin Trains East Coast, who have been central to the transformation we have been delivering for our customers over the past three years".

But he opted for an Operator of Last Resort controlled by the DfT to begin the transition towards a public-private body named East Coast Partnership.

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He added that he has received "official advice" that restrictions should not be placed on Virgin and Stagecoach's "passport" which entitles them to bid for future rail franchises, as "there is no suggestion of either malpractice or malicious intent".

The Department for Transport assessment was that either immediate option, a fresh Virgin Trains contract or direct control, was broadly similar in cost.

The service's most successful period had come under public ownership, Mr McDonald said, until it was "cynically reprivatised".

Just as councils, facing tough spending decisions, have perhaps let pothole repairs slide, governments are likely at some stage to decide education and the NHS matter more than ensuring the 3.10 to York is on time. "[The Conservatives] are defending a broken system at the passengers expense". The chair of the Commons Transport Committee Lilian Greenwood said it was "a very sorry tale".

Critics described the move as a "bail out", with Lord Adonis resigning as chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission after claiming it would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds in lost payments by the operator.

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Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths said he was "surprised and disappointed".

The collapse of the franchise marks the third time in a decade that a private train operator has failed to see out its contract on the east coast mainline, which was renationalised between 2009 and 2015.

Rail union Unite called for all rail lines to be nationalized.

The future of Virgin Trains East Coast has been in doubt since the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced in February the line may need to be taken back under government control after the franchise holder breached its contract.

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