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  1. ITV Report

East Coast rail franchise brought back under public control

Rail services on the East Coast line through Peterborough and Stevenage are being brought under public control for the second time. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Rail services on the East Coast Main Line through Peterborough and Stevenage will be brought back under public control following the termination of the franchise agreement with Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC).

Stagecoach, which owns 90% of VTEC, said it was "surprised and disappointed" that the Government chose not to award it a new deal to continue runningservices on the London to Edinburgh route.<

Trains will be run by the Department for Transport (DfT) through an operator of last resort (OLR).<

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told the Commons in February that the franchise would only be able to continue in its current form for a "very small number of months" as Stagecoach had "got its numbers wrong" and "overbid".

In a stock market statement, Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths, said: "We are surprised and disappointed that the Department for Transport has chosen not to proceed with our proposals.

"We believe our plans offered a positive, value-for-money way forward for passengers, taxpayers and local communities, ensuring the continuation of the exciting transformation already under way on East Coast and a smooth transition to the Government's new East Coast Partnership.

"We respect the Government's decision.

"We will work constructively with the DfT and the OLR in the weeks ahead to ensure a professional transfer to the new arrangements, supporting our employees and maintaining the same clear focus on our customers as we have over the past three years."

– Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach chief executive

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