ECML - DOES SIR RICHARD HAVE TOO MUCH OF A MONOPOLY

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windsor_lad
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ECML - DOES SIR RICHARD HAVE TOO MUCH OF A MONOPOLY

Post by windsor_lad » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:13 am

A consortium made up of Stagecoach and Virgin has won the franchise to run the East Coast mainline rail route.

The firms promised to invest ?140m in the route over eight years, and will pay the government ?3.3bn for the contract.

The franchise, which covers the route between London and Edinburgh, has been publicly run since 2009.

The RMT union called the return of the franchise to the private sector "a national disgrace".

Other companies bidding to win the franchise included FirstGroup and a joint venture between Eurostar and French firm Keolis.

'Fantastic deal'
The Stagecoach and Virgin consortium, named Inter City Railways, said plans included 23 new services from London, and 3,100 extra seats for the morning peak time by 2020.

Inter City Railways is 90% owned by Stagecoach, but trains will be branded 'Virgin Trains East Coast', Stagecoach said.

Martin Griffiths, chief executive of Stagecoach Group, said: "Passengers using the East Coast mainline will benefit from hundreds of millions of pounds of infrastructure investment and service improvements over the next decade.

"Together with Virgin, our innovative plans will give customers new services, faster and more frequent trains, and easier, more personalised journeys."

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "This is a fantastic deal for passengers and for staff on this vital route. It gives passengers more seats, more services and new trains.

"We are putting passengers at the heart of the service. I believe Stagecoach and Virgin will not only deliver for customers but also for the British taxpayer."

Martin Griffiths, chief executive of Stagecoach Group, said: "Passengers using the East Coast mainline will benefit from hundreds of millions of pounds of infrastructure investment and service improvements over the next decade."

However, Mick Cash, RMT general secretary said the contract was "an act of utter betrayal".

"The government has confirmed that it is bulldozing ahead with the re-privatisation of the East Coast Main Line despite all the figures showing that the current public sector operator is handing over a billion pounds back to the British people while delivering huge improvements in service and customer satisfaction."

The previous operator of the rail line, National Express, ran into financial difficulties, forcing the government to take control of the franchise.

The government says it always intended to return the route to the private sector, but transport unions have been pushing for the franchise to remain in public ownership.

windsor_lad
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:38 pm

Re: ECML - DOES SIR RICHARD HAVE TOO MUCH OF A MONOPOLY

Post by windsor_lad » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:07 am

Meanwhile according to the FT.


London rail stocks head in different directions

Michael Hunter

Shares in the UK?s biggest train operating companies headed in opposite directions on Thursday in response to the government?s award of the West Coast rail franchise.

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pdeaves
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Re: ECML - DOES SIR RICHARD HAVE TOO MUCH OF A MONOPOLY

Post by pdeaves » Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:26 pm

Does Sir Richard have too much of a monopoly?

In my view: no.

There are very few journeys made for which there is real competition between the east and west coast routes. I think it would have been more of an issue if, say, London Midland was a Virgin company.

14Bfellow
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Re: ECML - DOES SIR RICHARD HAVE TOO MUCH OF A MONOPOLY

Post by 14Bfellow » Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:23 pm

There is real competition in the form of low cost airlines, private cars and to a lesser extent National Express coaches.
Mr Cash will oppose any form of change or progress until our railways return to the bloated declining state owned monolith that his predecessors held sway over in the 1970s and earlier.

Peter Hall
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Re: ECML - DOES SIR RICHARD HAVE TOO MUCH OF A MONOPOLY

Post by Peter Hall » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:59 am

Surely the one with the greatest share of the market by ownership is Stagecoach. 49% West Coast, 100% Midland Main Line, 90% East Coast. So something like 80% of the InterCity rail market. Add to that its ownership of Megabus and it being a contractor for National Express on competing road coach routes.

Having followed the saga of the farce (my opinion) over Dover-Calais ferry sailings and the banning (subject to greater profits for the legal guys) of My Ferry Link because Eurotunnel has too greater share of the cross channel market I am sure there is scope for a similar nonsense to arise here. In the end will passengers actually benefit though? Someone has to pay the legal etc bill and who will that be passed on to?

BigMal442
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Re: ECML - DOES SIR RICHARD HAVE TOO MUCH OF A MONOPOLY

Post by BigMal442 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:39 pm

Hi Gents,
Fine that a 'British' group have the franchise, but the the general public are not to bothered about the franchisee.
The two things the public want are a reliable service at a reasonable cost.
Considering the two previous hand backs and the new price bid, it remains to be seen if it can be made to work without price hikes and removal of fare offers.
The money from the franchise should be 'ring fenced' and spent on the ECML infrastructure which at present is not fit for purpose.
Yet again this week there were eight hour delays because of wires down South of Doncaster. I have never travelled on the line in recent times without a delay of more than two hours in one direction.
The Department of Transport, Network Rail and the operator need to get together to sort out a plan to upgrade the OHL equipment, line capacity, wired and upgraded diversionary routes, and extensive fencing & barriers to stop jumpers. Only then will the 'Linconshire Tours' be stopped.
Never mind spending money on HS2 the ECML needs fixing first.

Cheers
BM

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