THE Government is to take over the running of the East Coast mainline, which operates throughout the North-East, according to reports.

The troubled National Express company is to hand over the running of the service.

The franchise is expected to have lost £20m in the first half of this year and has been hit by a fall in the number of passengers using it.

Requests for its contract to be redrawn have been firmly rejected by Government ministers.

As reported last night, Richard Bowker, the chief executive of transport group National Express, is to leave the firm.

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