Arriva Rail North/Northern Rail franchise [Archived]

The following Competiton guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Arriva Rail North/Northern Rail franchise [Archived]
  • Case facts
  • Timeline
  • Commentary
  • Related cases


ARCHIVED–this archived case hub reflects the position at the date of the decision of 2 November 2016; it is no longer maintained.

See further, timeline, commentary and related cases.

Case facts

Outline UK merger investigation into the completed acquisition by Arriva Rail North Limited of the Northern Rail franchise. The transaction involves a horizontal overlaps in rail routes in northern England.

Latest developments On 2 November 2016, the CMA issued its final report and cleared the transaction subject to remedies.

The CMA has found that the transaction may be expected to lead to a SLC in relation to three rail routes (Leeds to Sheffield, Wakefield to Sheffield and Chester to Manchester). Following further evidence submitted since the provisional findings, the CMA determined that there are no competition concerns on other rail routes and on routes where Arriva’s bus services overlap with Northern rail franchise routes.

To remedy those concerns, the CMA has ordered targeted local remedies comprising caps on unregulated rail fares for the affected routes. 

Parties Arriva Rail North Limited (ARN) is a subsidiary of Arriva plc (Arriva). Arriva currently operates three rail franchises (Cross-Country Trains, Arriva Trains Wales and Chiltern), two rail concessions (Tyne and Wear Metro and London Overground) and one open access rail service (Grand Central, with another planned, Alliance Rail)). Arriva is also one of the largest bus operators in the UK, operating approximately 5,900 bus services