On 16 May 2018, one month after we launched our Crowd Justice campaign to take Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to court over his handling of the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise fiasco, it was announced in the media that the route would be ‘re-nationalised’, as LNER (London North Eastern Railway) from 24 June 2018.
Success! Or is it? It later emerged that the new LNER franchise (unlike ‘East Coast’, which ran the line from 2009-15 and was wholly publicly-owned by the Department for Transport), would be run by a consortium of private companies: Arup, Ernst & Young and SNC-Lavalin.
Our legal action continues. Our lawyers have now written to Government for a forth time: to request further information about the new LNER arrangement, as well as the ongoing review of the suitability of Stagecoach and Virgin to retain their franchise ‘Passports’, given the dramatic failure of their Virgin Trains East Coast operation after just three years.
Thanks to all 907 people who have so far pledged support on Crowd Justice. Together we have already had a huge impact on events. Please continue to join this historic action.
Pledge and share our case page today: crowdjustice.com/case/eastcoast
Our Lawyers’ Letters
• 5 March 2018: Leigh Day to Department for Transport
• 16 April 2018: Leigh Day to Department for Transport (Pre-Action Protocol)
• 15 May 2018: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 1 June 2018: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 17 July 2018: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 21 May 2019: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 26 June 2019: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
Our Case in the News
Enough is enough! Our East Coast mainline was a brilliant success in public-ownership and should never have been re-privatised in 2015. Now it has failed for the third time at the hands of private operators: GNER in 2007, National Express in 2009 and now Virgin Trains East Coast in 2018.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has admitted that Virgin Trains East Coast “got its numbers wrong” and breached “a key financial covenant” in their franchise agreement. Yet, he is allowing its owners – Stagecoach and Virgin – to walk away and continue running and bidding for other rail franchises. We can’t let them get away with this.
We’re now working with public law experts Leigh Day to bring Chris Grayling to court to account for these decisions. We expect this to be a landmark Judicial Review case; exposing the farce of rail franchising for the shameful waste of public money that it is, and paving the way to a re-unified national rail network run in the public’s interest once again.
Please pledge and share today: crowdjustice.com/case/eastcoast
Sunday 20 December 2015
The Green Door Store
Lower Goods Yard
Underneath Brighton Station
Tickets £8 from: www.bringbackbritishrail.org/benefitgig
Bring Back British Rail needs your help! We are now fundraising to pay the costs of materials / leaflets for two more nationwide Days of Action for Public Ownership of Our Railways before the General Election on 7 May.
Many of the organisations we normally work with cannot pay for materials / leaflets in the run-up to the General Election because of the new draconian ‘gagging law‘. That’s why we need to do this from the ground up, by collecting small donations from Bring Back British Rail supporters all around the country.