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2019-05-09 STG-001
Stagecoach Group

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Commencement of legal action against the Department for Transport


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East Midlands
franchises
franchising
pensions
Railway Pensions Scheme
South Eastern
Virgin Trains
West Coast Partnership



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Stagecoach Group

Commencement of legal action against the Department for Transport
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related documents


2019-04-10 More seats, services and state-of-the-art trains for passengers on new East Midlands Railway (Department for Transport)

2019-04-10 East Midlands, South Eastern and West Coast Partnership franchise updates (Department for Transport)

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date
9 May 2019
source Stagecoach Group
type Announcement

note RNS Number : 4142Y


Stagecoach Group plc ("Stagecoach" or "the Company") confirms that its wholly owned subsidiary, Stagecoach East Midlands Trains Limited, has today commenced legal action against the Department for Transport ("DfT").

A claim has been issued today at the High Court in London under Part 7 of the Civil Procedure Rules (a "Part 7 claim"). The claim alleges that the Department for Transport breached its statutory duties under the relevant provisions of Regulation 1370/2007[1], in connection with the procurement of the new East Midlands rail franchise.

Stagecoach East Midlands Trains Limited was disqualified from the procurement of that franchise and the DfT announced on 10 April 2019 that it intended to award the franchise to Abellio after the expiry of a voluntary 10 working day standstill period. That standstill period has subsequently been extended but is due to end at midnight today.

We have informed the DfT that we are also preparing a claim for judicial review of its decisions to disqualify us from bidding for the East Midlands rail franchise and to award the franchise to Abellio. Additionally, we are considering legal action against the Department in respect of the ongoing competitions for the West Coast Partnership franchise and a new South Eastern franchise.

The Part 7 claim that has been issued and the further legal actions under preparation vary in certain respects but common to all is our refusal to accept the potential pension risks that the DfT requires operators to bear in relation to the three new franchises. The full extent of these risks is unknown but we estimate them to be well in excess of £1 billion. Further information on those pensions risks was provided in a regulatory announcement by Stagecoach on 2 May 2019.

Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, said: "We remain deeply concerned at the Department for Transport's procurement of the three most recent rail franchise competitions and the rationale behind its decisions.

"Despite our continued requests for full transparency around these matters, many fundamental questions remain unanswered. As a result, regrettably we have had no option but to commence legal action against the DfT to ensure the serious issues involved and the DfT's opaque decision-making are subject to proper public scrutiny.

"In view of the legal action we have taken today we believe it would be untenable for the DfT to proceed to sign any contract for the East Midlands franchise without a full and proper review of the procurement of that franchise to help restore public confidence in the process."

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Analysts
Ross Paterson, Finance Director ????01738 442111
Bruce Dingwall, Group Financial Controller 01738 442111

Media
Steven Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications
01738 442111 or 07764 774680

Notes to Editors

Stagecoach Group

o Stagecoach Group is one of the UK's largest and leading public transport groups. The Group employs around 26,000 people.

o Stagecoach is one of the UK's biggest bus and coach operators with over 8,000 buses and coaches on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Low-cost coach service, megabus.com, operates a network of inter-city services across the UK.

o Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the East Midlands Trains network and holding a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast rail franchise.

o Stagecoach operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.

[1] Article 5(3) of Regulation 1370/2007 (which governs the procurement of rail franchises) requires the Government to adopt a competitive tendering process which is open to all operators, and is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory


Railhub Archive ::: 2019-05-09 STG-001





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