Stagecoach gets extra time on its East Midlands deal after East Coast reverse

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Embattled transport Secretary Chris Grayling on Monday handed Stagecoach an extension to a crucial contract months after it was forced to hand back control of another franchise. 

Stagecoach said its East Midlands Trains business had won an extension to its contract to run the service which links Sheffield and London from St Pancras.

The contract will run from March 3 to August 18 and can be extended by up to 24 weeks. 

The move comes despite Stagecoach and joint-venture partner Virgin Trains last summer handing back control of the East Coast Main Line early after overestimating the profitability of the line.

Grayling said then that DfT would run the service until a new public-private partnership is found in 2020 and came under fire for the private-sector failure. The pair still run the West Coast line.

Grayling is also facing criticism over the award of contracts to run extra ferries in a no-deal Brexit including to a company with no ships. Seaborne’s contract was axed and Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel is suing the government. 

Stagecoach said the East Midlands deal would help to support a  £1.5 billion upgrade to improve capacity and cut journey times.

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February 13, 2019 |
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