First MTR wins South Western franchise – Transport Focus response

27 March 2017

Following the announcement of First MTR as the winner of South Western franchise Transport chief executive Anthony Smith, said:

“Passengers using trains on the South West network told us their main priorities for a new operator are: boosting reliability and more space to sit and stand in some comfort. They also want to see a better on train experience, stations modernised and improved information.

“We included these aspirations in our work with the Department for Transport when working on the franchise outline, when talking to the bidders and hope to see the passenger voice strongly built into the new franchise.

“Transport Focus is looking closely at the winning bid to see how these ambitious proposals will deliver for passengers. New trains, more services, smarter ticketing including flexible season tickets and lots of other promised improvements. We are looking forward to working closely with First MTR as it delivers these enhancements, emphasising this must be in a way that does not cause undue shorter term disruption.

“Passengers will be pleased to also see the introduction of boosted compensation through Delay Repay triggers being set at the lower level of 15 minutes – a big step in the right direction in building trust with passengers.

Background information

In the latest National Rail Passenger Survey 83 per cent of South West Train’s passengers were satisfied overall with their service, with 39 per cent satisfied with value for money.

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