Consortium to buy East Coast trains announced

A consortium involving Sir Richard Branson's train company Virgin Trains has been chosen to run the East Coast main line franchise from next year.

The Department for Transport said the consortium involving Virgin and transport company Stagecoach, who already run the West Coast line, will start the East Coast franchise in March 2015 .

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Hull MP says city has been 'left out again'

Hull MP Diana Johnson claims the city has been "left out" of plans to improve the east coast rail network.

Today it was announced the routes would be privatised with a consortium involving Virgin and Stagecoach taking over from March 2015.

Hull MP says city has been 'left out again' Credit: Press Association

Hull has been left out again in this announcement about the East Coast Line. There are no extra Hull-London or Hull-Newcastle services in this privatisation and we’re still threatened with Transpennine route cuts in order to benefit Southern England.

Worse still, there was no further news about getting Hull’s rail electrification done in time for the City of Culture 2017, so that Hull could benefit from new rolling stock that’s been promised for other parts of the country. It wasn’t a promising sign recently when the Deputy Prime Minister appeared unaware that Hull’s upgrade scheme is privately financed!

More generally, taxpayers and the travelling public have been sold short in an East Coast franchising process shouldn’t have happened. East Coast has returned over £800m to the taxpayer and has established itself as one of the best train operating companies in the country.

Rather than rigging the franchise timetable in order to sell it off before the Election, the Government should have been putting the public interest first and working to get a better deal for passengers.

– Diana Johnson MP

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