Stagecoach to run East Midlands Trains services to 2015

The Department for Transport (DfT) has reached an agreement with Stagecoach to continue operating services through East Midlands Trains until October 2015.

The extension was an option included in the original franchise agreement which Stagecoach has held since November 2007.

East Midlands Trains runs services operate between Leicester, Derby, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester, Liverpool and London St Pancras.

Following the cancellation of the West Coast franchise competition, the DfT has directly awarded several contract extensions as it prepares a new long-term franchise timetable.

Stagecoach has said it is continuing discussions with the DfT on a planned direct award, subject to agreement of commercial terms, from October 2015 through to October 2017.

Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Group chief executive, said: “We are pleased the Department for Transport has exercised its option under the current contract to extend our operation of the East Midlands franchise.

“East Midlands Trains is currently investing over £40 million to improve stations across its network and every single passenger train within its fleet. It has been the UK’s most punctual long-distance train operator for the past four years, and we are committed to improving services further for our customers.

“We are continuing to discuss with the DfT its plans for the East Midlands franchise through to October 2017, and we look forward to an agreement being reached in due course.”