View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
May 10, 2019

Stagecoach takes legal route over franchise bidding disqualification

Stagecoach has initiated legal action against the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) after it was disqualified from bidding for the East Midlands rail franchise.

Stagecoach has initiated legal action against the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) after it was disqualified from bidding for the East Midlands rail franchise.

The transport group was barred from placing bids on three franchises for not meeting pension requirements.

Stagecoach placed joint bids for the South Eastern and West Coast franchises and an independent bid for East Midlands, which it operated since 2007.

Last month, DfT awarded the East Midlands franchise to Abellio.

In its lawsuit filed at the High Court in London, Stagecoach claimed that the DfT has violated its statutory duties with regard to the East Midlands franchise.

“Despite our continued requests for full transparency around these matters, many fundamental questions remain unanswered.”

The company added that it is also planning to launch a judicial review over the East Midlands contract, as well as taking legal action over its disqualification from the other two franchises.

Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “We remain deeply concerned at the Department for Transport’s procurement of the three most recent rail franchise competitions and the rationale behind its decisions.

“Despite our continued requests for full transparency around these matters, many fundamental questions remain unanswered.”

During the bidding process, DfT asked the applicants to bear the full long-term funding risk on some parts of the Railways Pension Scheme. The Stagecoach bid for the East Midlands franchise was prohibited for non-compliance on this requirement.

It was disqualified from placing bids for the West Coast and South Eastern franchises on the same ground.

Last month, Stagecoach sought clarification from the DfT for its disqualification and expressed an intention to take legal steps if the response was not satisfactory.

A DfT spokesperson declined to comment on the ‘legal proceedings’, adding that the agency has total confidence in the franchise competition process, reported The Guardian.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The railway industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Railway Technology