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2016-05-12 STG-001
Stagecoach Group

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ORR decision on applications for access to East Coast Main Line


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East Coast Main Line
open access



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Stagecoach Group

ORR decision on applications for access to East Coast Main Line
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date
12 May 2016
source Stagecoach Group
type Press release



ORR decision on applications for access to East Coast Main Line Stagecoach Group plc ("Stagecoach") notes the announcement by the Office of Rail and Road ("ORR") regarding applications to operate new rail services on the East Coast Mainline ("ECML").

The ORR has approved the application made by Virgin Trains East Coast ("VTEC"), in which Stagecoach has a 90% shareholding, to run new services between London and Edinburgh, Harrogate, Lincoln and Middlesbrough. These services formed part of VTEC's successful bid for the East Coast rail franchise, which started in March 2015 and is planned to run until at least 31 March 2023.

VTEC's core existing timetable has been approved from December 2017 when the current access contract expires. In addition, VTEC has been granted firm rights for service extensions to Bradford, Lincoln and Harrogate from May 2019, and for Edinburgh and Middlesbrough from May 2021. Should capacity become available sooner, VTEC’s additional rights for service extensions to Edinburgh could start from May 2019.

At the same time, the ORR has also approved an application from FirstGroup to run open access services between London and Edinburgh with firm rights from May 2021. As noted by the ORR, when these services commence they are expected to impact revenue from VTEC services.

Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group plc, said: “We are pleased that Virgin Trains East Coast’s application has been approved by the ORR. Customers are at the heart of our extensive £140m investment plans to grow the East Coast franchise and provide a high quality, competitive alternative to air and road travel. We look forward to the introduction of our new Virgin Azuma trains from 2018. In the meantime, we are continuing to deliver on our plans by cutting journey times, transforming on-board service, expanding the timetable, linking communities and making significant premium payments to Government.

“With respect to the decision on open access between London and Edinburgh, we do not believe the granting of these services within a franchised system and without a level playing field is in the best interests of passengers, taxpayers or communities.

“We will assess the ORR decision and implications in detail and review our options.” A copy of the full ORR decision is available at: http://orr.gov.uk/what-and-how-we-regulate/track-access/current-work/east-coast-main-line Ends

Further information

For further information, please contact:
Stagecoach Group plc
www.stagecoachgroup.com
Investors and analysts
Ross Paterson, Finance Director Bruce Dingwall, Group Financial Controller
01738 442111
01738 442111

Media
Steven Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications
07764 774680


Railhub Archive ::: 2016-05-12 STG-001





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