Rail operator could face Government takeover

Skipton Railway Station

7:47am 6th February 2018

The train operator that runs East Coast Mainline services direct from London to Harrogate and Skipton could be taken over by the Government.

It's because Stagecoach is losing too much money running it.

The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, has told MPs that his department may have to step in directly within months.

Stagecoach runs the East Coast franchise with Virgin.

According to the Transport Secretary, the operator had "got their sums wrong" and will suffer "significant losses" of nearly £200m.

"It is now clear that this franchise will only be able to continue in its current form for a matter of a very small number of months and no more," said Mr Grayling.

Mr Grayling admitted his department is now considering running the East Coast line through an "operator of last resort", which would see the franchise return to public ownership less than three years after it was re-privatised.

"This option is very much on the table and will be selected if the assessment I have set out determines that it offers...a better deal for passengers than the alternative," he said.

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