Skip to content

Cross Country (CrossCountry)

Cross Country

What is happening now?

The present Cross Country franchise, operated by Arriva UK Trains, is due to end in October 2019. This follows the Department for Transport (DfT) awarding a new, short-term franchise to the existing operator (known as a direct award) in September 2016.


The timetable for the next franchise competition will start when the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) Notice is published in 2018. This will be followed by consultation and invitations to prospective bidders to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire, leading to a list of shortlisted bidders, before the Invitation to Tender (ITT) is issued. The new franchise is expected to be awarded in July 2019, ready to start in October.

Our role in the franchising process

We are working closely with the DfT as they start to shape the competition for the new franchise. We have drafted a foreword for the prospectus, and will be engaging in discussions about how to ensure the passenger voice is at the heart of the specification for the franchise. We will work with bidders to ensure that their plans are centred around the things that are important to passengers.

We were involved in discussions with the DfT as they negotiated the direct award with the current operator. We continue to press for the outcomes for passengers we believe this contract should deliver, including promoting the benefits of potential targets for passenger satisfaction. We set out our proposals for the direct award outlining the high level issues we think should be considered.

Towards the end of 2015 we carried out research to explore passengers’ current experiences and aspirations for the future.

To view our National Rail Passenger Survey reports or to access these and our appeal complaints data through our Data Explorer tool, please click on the links below:


NRPS                                                                Data Explorer

Transport Focus reports and publications

October 2017 CrossCountry passenger research
February 2016 CrossCountry franchise Direct Award – Transport Focus submission to the DfT

Related content

Latest news

Tram services are great, but must keep focus on keeping pace with demand, says watchdog

Find out more
Latest publication

Tram Passenger Survey

Find out more
Latest post

What’s the secret?

Find out more