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East Coast Railway Line

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 25 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his most recent assessment is of the likely date for returning the East Coast Main Line franchise to the private sector. (324131)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much it has cost the public purse to run the railway services on the East Coast Main Line in each month since 13 December 2009. (324190)

East Coast is a revenue generative business which returns a surplus to the public purse. Payments are made on a rail period rather than monthly basis. The following table shows the payments that East Coast is contracted to make in its first five periods of operation which show that the business will return some £47 million to the public purse during this time.

Rail period

Amount (£)

Period 9 (part period)

13 November 2009 to 12 December 2009

112,636,157

Period 10

13 December 2009 to 9 January 2010

2(4,630,742)

Period 11

10 January 2010 to 6 February 2010

114,183,011

Period 12

7 February 2010 to 6 March 2010

113,786,696

Period 13

7 March 2010 to 31 March 2010

111,112,614

Total

147,087,736

1 Payment to DFT.

2 Payment to East Coast.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his estimate is of the likely cost to the public purse of the failure of National Express's East Coast Main Line franchise. (324191)

It is not possible to estimate the likely cost to the public purse of the failure of National Express's East Coast franchise at present. The final cost is dependent on the resolution of outstanding issues with National Express, the level of ticket revenue generated by East Coast and the value achieved for the franchise when it is re-let.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many jobs were lost (a) directly and (b) indirectly as a result of the failure of National Express's East Coast Main Line franchise. (324193)

No jobs were lost either directly or indirectly as a result of the failure of National Express's East Coast Mainline franchise.

Some changes were made to the executive team with a new Managing Director appointed before the handover and three new Directors since.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his estimate is of the financial effects on the economy of the failure of National Express's East Coast Main Line franchise. (324194)

The failure of National Express East Coast will not result in a cost to the economy. The Government ensured the continuity of rail services through the use of its statutory powers.