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Now DB sues Grayling as well

TRANSPORT secretary Chris Grayling is reported to be facing a second legal challenge following his decision to reject bids for East Midlands from Arriva and Stagecoach on the grounds that they were ‘non-compliant’.

The Department for Transport rejected a total of four bids last month, three of them from or involving Stagecoach, because they attempted to modify clauses about pensions risk.

The fourth bid was Arriva’s, and the company’s owner Deutsche Bahn is now understood to be following the lead of Stagecoach by taking legal action which alleges that the DfT was in breach of its statutory duties.

Abellio was the only surviving bidder for East Midlands, and an eight-year franchise with the Dutch-owned operator was signed on 9 May, after an extended ‘standstill’ period.

Arriva’s claim refers to the earlier High Court submission by Stagecoach as the same ‘case type’.

Arriva said: ‘We can confirm that we are seeking to obtain more information relating to how the bids for the East Midlands franchise were assessed,’ according to the Sunday Telegraph.

The DfT is maintaining its stance that it does not comment on legal proceedings. However, a spokesman has confirmed its earlier statement that it has ‘total confidence in our franchise competition process and will robustly defend decisions that were taken fairly’.

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