Latest Rail News

27.03.13

DOR should bid for East Coast franchise – MP

The public sector should be allowed to bid to run the East Coast contract, an MP on the Transport Select Committee has proposed.

Manchester Withington Lib Dem MP John Leech has called for state-owned Directly Operated Railways (DOR), which currently runs the route, to be able to bid for the new franchise.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin published the DfT’s new franchising programme yesterday, and announced that East Coast would be put out to tender for services starting in 2015.

Rivals Virgin Trains and FirstGroup are both expected to bid for the contract.

During the Rail Franchise Statement in the House of Commons yesterday, Leech said: “By deciding to refranchise the East Coast M ain Line in the future we risk not being able to judge whether the public sector or private sector is best for the passenger, the taxpayer and the railways. Surely as a minimum we ought to allow DOR to bid to run the franchise?”

He went on to say after the statement: “I am disappointed by the proposed refranchising of the East Coast, it should remain within the public sector for a longer period. This decision ignores the lessons of recent private rail franchise failures.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. Dan Sellers

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