Consultation on new Great Western Railway operator – our response

29 November 2017

Today the Department for Transport announced a consultation on the future of the Great Western Railway. It will also extend the current contract for a year.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“Passengers have welcomed the much-needed investment in this part of the railway, despite some of the challenges this has raised. The possibility of a further contract with the current operator would allow for continued stability while electrification is completed and new rolling stock introduced. However, passengers are entitled to ask for improvements that reflect the step change in quality and provision that would be expected from a competed contract. We will be pressing DfT to achieve outcomes that deliver good results for today’s passengers.”

Transport Focus is calling for:

  • where there needs to be disruption to deliver improvements, this must be continue to be carefully managed to reduce the impact
  • general customer service elements that create an improved journey experience must not be forgotten
  • we also trust that enhancements to the current compensation regime (which only offers benefit to renewing season ticket holders), to give something back after delays of 15 minutes, will happen sooner rather than later.
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