France's Keolis-Eurostar bidding for stake in Britain's railway
The French could be running more of Britain’s transport network after state transport group Keolis/Eurostar was named one of three shortlisted bidders for the reprivatisation of the East Coast franchise.
The London-Edinburgh route has been in public ownership since National Express handed it back to the Government just over four years ago. According to the Office of Rail Regulation, it has lowest level of taxpayer support.
But the Department for Transport is pushing ahead with plans to privatise the 393-mile railway by February next year. As well as the French group, the other shortlisted firms were London-listed FirstGroup and Inter City Railways — a joint venture between Stagecoach and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin to run the route.
Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: “Although the East Coast franchise has been stabilised under government ownership since 2009, the route now needs a long-term private sector operator to plan for the future.”
The French bid, from Eurostar and Keolis, comes as its state railway SNCF looks set to be the sole bidder for Britain’s sale of its stake in Eurostar. Keolis also runs the Southeastern, Southern and London Midland franchises, alongside London-listed Go Ahead Group, as well as the First Transpennine Express with FirstGroup.
Stagecoach and Virgin already work together on the Virgin Rail joint venture, which runs the West Coast, and FirstGroup’s long-distance franchises include First Great Western and First ScotRail as well as the First TransPennine Express.
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 2 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
- 5 We have six months to save the world, says leading economist
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Sepp Blatter resigns: FBI are investigating outgoing Fifa president, claims report
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...
£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...