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Departmental Civil Proceedings

Transport written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin Chair, Public Administration Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which organisations that have received funding from her Department have brought legal proceedings against her Department in the last five years; which such organisations were not successful in their actions; and whether her Department (a) applied and (b) was paid for costs in respect of such cases.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

During the last five years, there were two sets of legal proceedings in the superior courts (in both instances in the High Court) brought against the Secretary of State by organisations that also received funding from the central Department for Transport. To confirm the position as regards courts other than superior courts, or in relation to the Department's seven executive agencies would, I regret, incur a disproportionate cost.

The organisations/legal proceedings mentioned above are as follows:

EWHC 3024 (Admin) (25 November 2009).

First Essex Buses Ltd received funding by way of the bus service operators' grant.

First Essex Buses Ltd was not successful in its application for judicial review. Costs were applied for and the payment for costs is being pursued.

EWHC 223 (Admin) (16 February 2010).

The organisations receiving funding by way of the bus service operators grant:

I. The United Omnibus Company Limited

II. Stagecoach West Limited

III. Stagecoach (South) Limited

IV. Lincolnshire Road Car Limited

V. Midland Red (South) Limited

VI. Thames Transit Limited

VII. East Kent Car Company Limited

VIII. Stagecoach Devon Limited

IX. Cambus Holdings Limited

X. East Midland Motor Services Limited

XI. East Kent Road Car Limited

XII. Solent Blue Line Limited

XIII. Wiltshire and Dorset Bus Company Limited

XIV. Marchwood Motorways (Services) Limited.

The bus operating companies listed above were party to these five judicial review proceedings against the Secretary of State for Transport. Before the High Court was willing to deal with the individual judicial reviews, it chose to deal with “preliminary issues” on how the bus concessionary travel regime operates. (In the meantime it stayed the five individual claims.) It found in favour of the Secretary of State on the preliminary issues and awarded costs to the Secretary of State. Separately, in relation to one discrete element of the bus companies' claims, and which the Secretary of State had already conceded (called the “fixed sum” issue), the High Court ordered that the Secretary of State pay the claimants' costs, but only up to the point in time of her concession.

Following on from this, the litigation was settled, with both sides agreeing to bear their own costs.

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Posted on 14 Jan 2012 10:26 am

This annotation has been removed