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Stagecoach confirms legal action against Government over franchise bid ban

Stagecoach confirms legal action against Government over franchise bid ban
It was announced in August that FirstGroup would take on the route.

Stagecoach has confirmed it will take the Department for Transport to court early next year over a Government decision to ban the firm from bidding for three rail contracts.

Bosses were blocked from bidding for the East Midlands, West Coast and South Eastern franchises over pension deficit concerns.

The cases will be heard in the High Court in the new year. The Government unlikely to be willing to settle in case it encourages others to make similar claims.


Stagecoach said: “We continue to pursue our claims against the Secretary of State for Transport, regarding his decisions to disqualify us from three rail franchise competitions. The three cases are due to be heard in the High Court in early 2020.”

Despite already losing the East Midlands franchise to Abellio, bosses said they have been working closely with the new operators to ensure a smooth handover.

“We and our joint venture partner, Virgin (Trains), will approach the forthcoming transition of the West Coast franchise in the same spirit of collaboration.”


FirstGroup announced in August that the firm would take on the route.

On its bus business, there was better news, particularly at its London division.

The company said it received higher than expected payments for providing “favourable” service. The company also said it was confident of winning more contracts in the capital.


Bosses said they want to expand the division. They are looking at new partnerships with airports, festivals and events across the UK.

Its regional operations saw a 1% like-for-like boost in revenues. This is lower than expected due to tough comparisons last year with the summer heatwave and the end of rail replacement services in the Derby area.


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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...