East Coast mainline


Stephen Hepburn, MP for the Jarrow constituency has demanded that the government take the East Coast rail franchise back into public ownership. 


Mr Hepburn asked the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he is making on the appraisal options for the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise and if he would nationalise the east coast mainline.


The Minister of State for Transport responded by stating that “work is underway to consider the options and an announcement will be made in due course. The decision will be taken in a transparent way; the Department’s assessment of the option will be published and it will be properly validated.”

The Transport Secretary announced in November last year that the franchise would be replaced in 2020, three years earlier than expected, stating the franchise will run out of money and will not last until 2020. 

The Transport Secretary then told the House of Commons in February that that the situation was now much more urgent. He said: “It is now clear that the franchise will be able to continue in its current form for only a very small number of months and no more.”

Stephen Hepburn MP said:

“Here we are for the third time in 10 years that a private company has failed on the East Coast main line.

“When it was nationalised and run by the public sector, it returned £1 billion back to the Treasury.

“I have always said that our railways should be run, successfully, as a public service, not for private profit.

“The Tories cannot continue to keep on rewarding the failure of these private train companies. The East Coast should be taken back into public ownership as a matter of urgency."

Meet your MP


Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

Go to top