Arriva takes United Kingdom to court over East Midlands rail franchise

16 Mai, 2019, 04:23 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

The government is facing a double-whammy of legal action over its decision to award the East Midlands franchise to Abellio after Arriva Rail joined Stagecoach in taking it to court.

The DfT stated in April that Dutch government-owned firm Abellio would take charge to run the East Midlands railway franchise for eight years, commencing from August.

The fourth bid was Arriva's, and the company's owner Deutsche Bahn is now understood to be following the lead of Stagecoach by taking legal action which alleges that the DfT was in breach of its statutory duties.

The DfT awarded the East Midlands franchise to Abellio after all other bidders were disqualified, stating that Stagecoach's bid was "non-compliant" with pension rules and ignored the operator's protests as they had "repeatedly ignored the rules".

Arriva said: 'We can confirm that we are seeking to obtain more information relating to how the bids for the East Midlands franchise were assessed, ' according to the Sunday Telegraph.

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Earlier, rival Stagecoach, which was banned from rebidding, had also announced to take Dft to court.

Sir Richard's Virgin Trains whose 49% is owned by Stagecoach, once one of the biggest train operators, could also disappear from Britain's railways. Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK, said: "Abellio is pleased and proud to have been confirmed as Franchisee for the East Midlands Railway".

A DfT spokesperson said: "We do not comment on legal proceedings".

The East Midlands line operates a network including routes north to south between Yorkshire and London, and east to west as far as Norwich and Liverpool.

The pensions regulator has warned that train operators face a pensions black hole of £7.5bn, whilst the RMT has threatened to strike over the deficit, and other train operators involved in the bids are also reportedly considering legal action. We remain deeply concerned at the Department for Transport's procurement of the three most recent rail franchise competitions and the rationale behind its decisions.

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