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East Coast Rail Franchise

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL5120, tabled on 25 January 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport on 29 November that the Stagecoach–Virgin partnership would cease to operate the East Coast Rail franchise in 2020, whether they expect that the commitments in the original franchise that were due to be met before 2020 will continue to be met; and in particular, whether they expect (1) direct services from Middlesbrough to London, (2) two-hourly direct weekday services between Bradford, Harrogate, Lincoln and London, and (3) new direct peak-time services between Huddersfield and London, to be established by May 2019.

Answered on

1 February 2018

We are in discussions with Stagecoach to ensure the needs of passengers and taxpayers will be met in the short term whilst laying the foundations for introduction of the East Coast Partnership from 2020.

We expect to provide additional services between Lincoln, Harrogate, Bradford and London from May 2019. It remains our intention to deliver additional services to Middlesbrough and Huddersfield. Virgin Trains East Coast has contingent rights to run services from London to Middlesbrough from May 2020 and firm rights from May 2021.