Passenger Voice May 2016: You and your train company
22 April 2016
We have been talking to the Department for Transport (DfT) about plans for the next West Midlands franchise, due to start in October 2017. This has included issues raised in our consultation response, particularly the promotion of service quality and an improved passenger experience in the new franchise.
In April the DfT announced that it had shortlisted three bidders for the new franchise:
- London and West Midlands Railway Ltd, a subsidiary of Govia Ltd (a joint venture between Keolis and Go-Ahead Group)
- West Midlands Trains Ltd, currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Abellio Transport Group Ltd with East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd as minority partners
- MTR Corporation (West Midlands) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of MTR Corporation (UK) Ltd.
Later this year the DfT will hold a competition to find an operator for East Midlands services from March 2018.
We have already met with the DfT and will continue to hold detailed discussions on key passenger issues as the specification is developed.
In April we attended an East Midlands councils workshop in Newark which brought local councils together to discuss proposals and priorities for the next franchise. We also went on a fact-finding tour of the region to get a better understanding of the passenger experience on East Midlands services.
With consultation on the next West Coast franchise due fairly soon, we’re keeping in touch with DfT about its plans.
We also presented our West Coast passenger research to the West Coast Main Line All-Party Parliamentary Group
We continue to promote the use of passenger satisfaction targets to the DfT as it negotiates a direct award with the current operator.
The Government recently announced that two bidders are on the shortlist for the competition to run the next franchise. They are First and Stagecoach, the operator of the current services.