Stagecoach drops plans for rail franchise bids

Stagecoach says it will not bid for any more rail franchises until the level of risk to operators reduces.

The bus and rail operator made the announcement in its preliminary results for the financial year ending April 27, released on June 26.

It said: “We refused to accept all of the substantial pension risks that the Department for Transport required operators to bear as part of bids for these franchises.

“We believe the rail system should be about appointing the best operator for customers and taxpayers, not about passing unquantifiable, unmanageable and inappropriate risk to train companies or taking decisions which create uncertainty for rail workers over their pensions. Our objective is to encourage a more sensible risk profile for rail contracts and restore confidence in the procurement process.”

It concluded: “We will continue to focus on delivering high-quality services for our customers at our existing rail businesses. However, we have no intention to bid for new UK rail franchises on the current risk profile offered by the Department for Transport.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 882, published on July 3, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from June 29.


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