Rail firm Arriva has announced it is suing the UK government after it lost a bid for the East Midlands franchise.

According to the BBC, Arriva, which currently runs the Northern franchise, wants further details about how the Department for Transport (DfT) assessed the bids for the East Midlands operations.

Arriva’s announcement comes after Stagecoach, which currently operates the East Midlands trains, said it would take legal action after it was banned from submitting bids by the DfT. The government claimed the firm’s proposals were “non-compliant” because they did not meet pension rules. Stagecoach hit back by saying that meeting the pension demands would pose a long-term funding risk for operators.

The DfT has awarded the East Midlands franchise to Dutch firm Abellio for eight years starting in August this year and says it has “total confidence” in its process of choosing an operator for the railway line.

The DfT said over the weekend that it will “robustly defend decisions that were taken fairly following a thorough and impartial evaluation process”.

Stagecoach claims the government has not been transparent about its decision despite “continued requests” from the operator.

Subscribe to the BBT Newsletter

Join the Buying Business Travel newsletter for the latest business travel news.

Thank you for signing up!