Issue 13/2013

22nd March 2013

  • TfL faces an additional £80m cut to its budget
  • Four transport companies hold back DfT legal action until 28 March
  • Merseytravel risks millons in failed tram claims
In this issue:

Main stories this week

Transport for London is facing cuts of £80m over the next two years, in addition to the reduced funding signalled in this week’s Budget. [BBC News]

  • Tube bosses are to introduce shops at Underground stations to emulate the commercial success of shopping at railways and airports. [Evening Standard]

ArrivaFirstGroupNational Express, and Stagecoach have given the Department for Transport until 28 March to resolve the dispute over Great Western franchise bidding costs. [Transport Briefing]

Merseytravel is braced for multi-million pound legal claims over land it secured along the 11-mile route of the failed Merseytram project. [Liverpool Daily Post]

  • Merseytravel announced a major restructuring after bringing in South Yorkshire PTE’s David Brown as its new chief executive. [Transport Briefing]

New services

Legal wrangling over plans for High Speed 2 could drag on for years after opponents were given leave to appeal against last week’s court ruling. [Financial Times]

London Overground is to buy 57 new train carriages from Bombardier. [Transport Briefing]

Other stories this week

First Great Western is the first company to announce it is curbing announcements on its services. [BBC News]

The Government will double to £10,000 the size of the loans that employers can offer tax free to pay for season tickets loans, the Budget revealed. [Transport Briefing]

From the Scottish Borders to the West Country, via aspiring commuter towns in between, engineers are working to reopen rural branch lines severed by the Beeching Axe 50 years ago. [The Times]

  • The [Daily Telegraph]’s Andrew Gilligan writes on the “ghost of Beeching”.
  • A [Guardian] piece says Beeching shaped today’s rail freight service.

Finance update and company news

National Express’s pre-tax profits for 2012 were slashed by almost half. [Transport Briefing]

  • The firm said this was caused by the government’s withdrawal of concessionary fares for coach passengers, the loss of the Greater Anglia rail franchise and ‘exceptional costs incurred in repositioning and developing the business’.
  • 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]

Eurotunnel is hoping a compromise will be reached between French and UK regulators over its move into the cross-Channel ferry market. [Financial Times]

DB Arriva is in talks to acquire Veolia Transdev Central Europe regional transport services. []

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]