Issue 11/2013

8th March 2013

  • Rail groups launch legal action over Great Western franchise.
  • East Coast could remain nationalised ‘until end of decade’
  • Rail and road transport devolution extended to Lancashire
In this issue:

Main stories this week

Arriva, FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach have started legal proceedings against the government, seeking compensation for the aborted Greater Western franchise. [BBC News]

East Coast has been instructed to draw up a five-year plan and could remain under state control until the end of the decade, the [Financial Times] reports.

  • But [The Scotsman] believes privatisation could happen far sooner.

Highway authorities and councils in Lancashire have joined forces to create Transport for Lancashire. [Evening Post]

New services

An announcement is expected in April or May on whether certain Southeastern and Greater Anglia routes will be devolved to Transport for London. [London Reconnections]

new railway station could be built in the Derbyshire town of Ilkeston after the county council agreed to put up funds for the project. [BBC News]

The [Financial Times] offers more commentary on the private initiative for new Crossrail trains that was scrapped last week.

The new Scottish Borders rail line is set to cut car journey numbers by more than half-a-million every year, according to a new report. [The Scotsman]

Other stories this week

The [Financial Times]’s Matthew Engel contrasts the upcoming anniversary of Beeching report with another, the Great Train Robbery.

  • Steam railway lives on despite Beeching, reports [The Times]

First class rail travel has hit a record high in Britain but it’s thanks to boozy revellers and youngsters rather than stuffy city gents and business executives, new figures show the [Daily Mail]

London commuters should be offered flexible travelcards and rebates on monthly tickets to help curb overcrowding on the Tube, London Assembly Conservatives have argued. [Evening Standard]

The first completed section of Edinburgh tram route was due to be handed over from the contractor to the city council on Friday. [BBC News]

  • All major tram works will be cleared from the streets of Edinburgh by the end of this year, city leaders have pledged. [The Scotsman]

Financial update

Elliott Advisors, the activist investor that spent the spring of 2011 attempting to overthrow the board of National Express, is selling half its stake in the UK transport group, cutting its holding in the company’s shares to a tenth. [Financial Times]

Shares in Serco rallied almost 9% after the company reported a rise in full year profit and lifted its dividend to 10.1 pence from 8.4 pence. [Reuters]