West Coast Main Line U-turn sparks concerns over East Coast privatisation

East Coast train at Newcastle Central Station Photo: Martin Keene/PA Archive

There are concerns over the re-privatisation of the the East Coast Main Line after the Government cancelled the competition to run trains on the West Coast line.

The Government took over the running of the East Coast line in 2009 after National Express pulled out. The new operator for this franchise is due to be in place by December next year.

But the bidding process for three rail franchises have now been put on hold while two independent reviews look into what when wrong with the West Coast bidding process.

A number of other franchises, including the East Coast Main Line, are due for renewal over the next few years.

Now, this lengthy process could be spun out even further, leading to uncertainty at a time of ever-increasing passenger numbers on the network.

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