Passenger Voice June 2015: You and your train company

29 May 2015

Transport Focus has again been asked to comment on how passenger-focused new franchises will be.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has asked us to review how bids for the TransPennine Express and Northern franchises would deliver a good customer experience.

We will identify how bids plan to address important issues for passengers including quality of customer service, information, the end-to-end journey experience and communication with passengers. We will submit our report to the DfT which will consider our views in its evaluation of the bids.

This is a great opportunity for us to boost the voice of the passenger in the franchise decision-making process – a key aim of our work on Passenger Power! Announcement of the awards for these franchises are expected to be made later this year.

We have previously contributed to the review of bid proposals for Essex Thameside, East Coast and Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern.

Next steps in East Anglia

The consultation into the future of rail services in East Anglia closed in March and the DfT is reviewing all the responses. These will help shape what the DfT asks to be delivered in the new contract, due to start in October 2016. Prospective bidders were invited to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire and the DfT is expected to announce a shortlist of bidders in the next couple of months.

We will also be inviting all shortlisted bidders to meet with us about our research findings and aspirations for the next franchise.

Looking ahead

With new contracts for services on the West Coast and in the West Midlands due to start in 2017 we have started to develop our understanding of the key passenger priorities.

Following our recent event in Cardiff about the Welsh National Transport Plan we are also planning to establish further contact with organisations interested in the Wales and Borders contract which is due to start in 2018.

Click here for more details of our work on franchising.


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