Transport User Voice – January 2017 – You and your train company

21 December 2016

South Eastern

We have carried out research on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT) to understand what passengers want from a new franchise in the south east. Fieldwork was carried out in November, and we’re now preparing the report which we will publish in the new year. The research will help to inform our discussions with the DfT and bidders, and help to shape their proposals for the new franchise.

The South Eastern franchise, currently run by Govia, is up for renewal in June 2018. We expect a public consultation and the Invitation to Tender to be issued in 2017.

West Midlands

We have just finished reviewing the bids for the new West Midlands rail franchise, assessing how well each bid delivers on customer experience. We have produced a report on each bid, which the DfT and West Midlands Rail will use to inform their decision.

The DfT is expecting to announce the successful bidder in June 2017, with the new operator taking over the franchise in October 2017.

West Coast Partnership

In November the Government announced this new franchise will combine the current West Coast services with the development and introduction of High Speed Two services. Earlier this month the Government issued Expression of Interest documents to identify organisations interested in bidding for the new franchise.

An event for prospective bidders for the franchise will be held in London on 25 January. We will be highlighting the experiences and priorities of current West Coast passengers, based on our insight, as well as results from our ongoing HS2 passenger panel.

The new franchise is scheduled to start in April 2019. The Government has issued a prior information notice of a short-term ‘direct award’ contract to Virgin Trains from April 2018, the end-date of the current franchise, until the start of the new franchise.

Wales and Borders

Transport for Wales has published the first issue of an e-bulletin which will give updates on the progress of the procurement process for the new Wales and Borders Rail Service and Metro.

Click here to read more.

East Midlands

We’re awaiting news of the launch of the public consultation for the new East Midlands franchise and stakeholder consultation events. We will provide further details as soon as available, including information on how to respond to the consultation.

East West Rail

On Tuesday 6 December the Government announced a new approach to deliver a new rail link between Oxford and Cambridge, known as East West Rail.

The plan is to create a new East West Rail organisation which will be an integrated rail operation, delivering the design, construction and operation of a new rail link between Oxford and Cambridge.

Phase one of East West Rail, between Oxford and Bicester, was completed on 12 December as part of the Chiltern franchise. This has allowed the introduction of a new service between Oxford and London Marylebone.

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