New West Coast franchise to include HS2 services – Transport Focus response

04 November 2016

Today the Department for Transport announced a new rail franchise to combine the current InterCity West Coast services with the development and introduction of High Speed 2 services.

The new franchise – the West Coast Partnership – starts in 2019 and will include the first 3 to 5 years of operation of HS2.

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

“Passengers now and in the future will be pleased to see a co-ordinated approach to delivering services running up the west coast as the new line opens up more capacity. With a franchise of this size, it is even more critical that passengers are kept at the very heart of it, and that their satisfaction is built into delivery targets. Less competition could too easily lead to premium pricing so passenger protection will have to be a priority. We will now be working with all bidders to share our detailed work on what current West Coast and future HS2 passengers want.”

– Ends

Useful links:

Our consultation response on what passengers want from future West Coast services.

Our work with the HS2 passenger panel on what they want to see from future HS2 services.

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