National Express loses second rail franchise

Transport giant National Express, which had one of its rail routes taken over by the Department for Transport (DfT), has learned it will have to give up another of its rail franchises from next year.

National Express had bid to carry on running its East Anglia franchise, having had to relinquish operation of its East Coast franchise in 2009.



Today, the DfT announcement of a shortlist of three companies who would contest the East Anglia bidding showed National Express had not made it to this point.



"We did bid and we are disappointed we didn't get on to the shortlist," said a National Express spokesman.



Financial difficulties led to the taking back into the public sector of the East Coast franchise. National Express also operates the London to Tilbury and Southend line, c2c.



Competing for Greater Anglia, as the East Anglia franchise is officially known, are Nederlandse Spoorwegen and two transport companies already with experience of running franchises, the Go-Ahead Group and Stagecoach.



The Greater Anglia franchise will start on February 5 2012 and will run for 17 months, with an option to extend by up to one year.



The DfT said this shorter franchise will allow time for reforms arising from the current McNulty review into rail value for money to be properly considered and built into the terms of a subsequent Greater Anglia franchise.



The Dft also announced today the shortlist for the West Coast franchise which showed the current operator, Virgin Trains, faces a stiff fight.



Virgin has operated the West Coast main line since 1997 but having made a short-list of four, it will come up against another transport giant, FirstGroup, which already runs a number of franchises.



Also on the shortlist is Dutch company Nederlandse Spoorwegen and a joint venture between French rail company SNCF and French company Keolis SA.



The new West Coast franchise will start on April 1 2012 and run for 14 years, with an option to extend for a further year.



Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said "We welcome the fact that Nat Express are off the tracks in East Anglia.



"But the merry-go-round of rail franchising takes another spin and whoever the winners are from these latest beauty contests it certainly won't be the travelling public."



He added that the politicians had "clearly learnt nothing from the debacle of the East Coast franchise".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss