What next for East Coast passengers?
28 November 2014
So, the pundits were wrong. A Stagecoach/Virgin bid is successful after all. The headlines, even discounting the bits like new trains that have already been announced, look impressive. So does the premium that will be paid to the Government. For everyone’s sake let’s hope this is achievable.
The best thing is getting some certainty. The current operator, East Coast, is doing a pretty good job. It is the top long-distance franchised train company in our National Rail Passenger Survey. So, the new operator should be building on a strong base. The deal should unlock investment and developments that have been on hold for years.
We will now look carefully at the detail of the announcement. Passenger Focus, basing its views on research, helped the Department for Transport frame the specification, we canvassed passengers and others for their opinions on priorities for improvement, we commented on the quality aspects of the bid and fed in our research to discussions with bidders. Passenger power! in action.