Transport User Voice – October 2018 – You and your train company
28 September 2018
What’s happening on your train services?
Cross Country franchise competition
The Department for Transport (DfT) has decided that the Cross Country franchise competition will not proceed. Services will continue to be operated by the existing franchisee with options beyond this to be considered in due course. The department will consider the responses to the Cross Country public consultation in the development of future options for the franchise including Transport Focus’s response.
In our response we emphasise the importance of value for money, capacity, train service performance and clean, well-maintained train environments with free Wi-Fi. It’s clear that further consultation is necessary when plans for the structure and train services for the new Cross Country franchise emerge, so that in due course passengers can have a real say on specific proposals which may affect them.
Great Western Railway consultation
The DfT has published a summary of responses to the consultation on the future of the Great Western franchise. It also set out its response to the issues raised and the plans for a new contract with the current operator (First Group) from April 2020.
The DfT has confirmed that the franchise will not be split, and there will be a renewed focus on punctuality and reliability. The Transport Focus franchise team will continue to engage with both the DfT and First Group to ensure that passengers’ priorities are represented as contract discussions progress.
East Midlands franchise
The Transport Focus franchise team has spent much of September reviewing carefully the customer experience elements of the East Midlands franchise bids. The results of the competition will be announced next year.