Invitation To Tender

December 22nd, 2015 by James Goudie KC

In Enfield LBC v Secretary of State for Transport [2015] EWHC 3758 (Admin) the Council’s challenge to a train franchise decision by the SoS pursuant to the Railways Act 1993 to issue an Invitation to Tender containing a particular Train Services Requirement failed before Elisabeth Laing J. 

In connection with a major development, the Council hoped for an improved train service. The Judge found that (1) the SoS had not by his contradictory and confusing messages generated the legitimate expectation sought to be relied upon, (2) even if a legitimate expectation had been created, (i) the Council had not relied upon it to its detriment, and (ii) there were overriding public interests to justify departing from it, (3) the SoS had not acted with conspicuous unfairness, (4) he had not failed to take into account relevant considerations, (5) he had not taken into account irrelevant considerations, (6) he had not acted irrationally, (7) he had not acted unfairly in not allowing the Council to make further representations, and (8) he had complied with the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.  The SoS’s discretion was a broad one, in a complex, technical, quasi-commercial field.

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