The Competition & Markets Authority has raised concerns over the operation of the East Coast franchise, which is due to be handed back to private hands after five years under government control. The organisation reviewed whether competition concerns could arise given the coach and rail services already operated by Stagecoach Group, which is due to take over control of the line alongside partner Virgin Rail.
A joint venture between Stagecoach Transport and Virgin Rail has been awarded the franchise for the East Coast mainline. The firms have agreed to invest £140 million in the route over eight years, and will pay the government £3.3 billion for the contract. The deal will be finalised pending the successful completion of a standstill period of at least ten days.
UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin recently toured the East Coast Main Line to see how £million of rail improvements are being used to boost capacity and provide better journeys for passengers.