Passenger Voice June 2016: You and your train company

27 May 2016

New services on the East Coast

Earlier this month the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) published its decision on applications for access to the East Coast Main Line. It had received three separate applications for the right to run new services.

Two bids were successful:

Virgin Trains East Coast has been allowed to increase its services to make use of new Intercity Express Programme (IEP) trains. The application will add more trains to Edinburgh through the day, existing services will be extended to Harrogate and Lincoln and a new Middlesbrough service will be added.

FirstGroup will operate five off-peak return services a day between London and Edinburgh calling variously at Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth.

A bid from a third operator, GNER, was rejected.

Read the decision from ORR and our response.

Wales and Borders consultation

The Wales and Borders franchise, currently operated by Arriva Trains Wales, ends in October 2018 and the Welsh Government has been consulting on its proposals for the future operation.

We have responded to that consultation setting out the important issues that should be addressed in the franchise by bidders before the contract is let.

We suggest that the top passenger priorities for the next Wales and Borders franchise to address are:

  • the ability to get a seat and frequency of services
  • value for money
  • punctuality and reliability
  • effective information during disruption.

Read our response to the consultation.

West Coast rail services – have your say!

The Department for Transport (DfT) launched a consultation into the future of West Coast rail services.

Services on the West Coast are currently run by Virgin Trains. That contract is due to end in April 2018, the DfT is looking for an operator for the new franchise from that date. The consultation sets out the DfT’s vision for the new franchise. It also invites passengers and stakeholders to share their views and hopes for these services. The consultation runs for 12 weeks, closing on 2 August. The responses to this consultation will help the DfT decide what to ask potential bidders to propose for these services in the future.

Read the consultation announcement and our response.

If you are interested in responding to the consultation or attending one of the DfT’s public events then click here for more information.

We will be writing a response to this consultation, highlighting the key issues and priorities for passengers. It will draw on our extensive passenger research including a piece we published in February exploring the views of passengers on the West Coast. You can read the summary of that research and recommendations for future services here.

Look at our website for more detail about the West Coast franchise.

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