Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – November 2018 – You and your train company

29 October 2018

Accessibility Forum

Transport Focus’ bi-annual Accessibility Forum – well attended by over forty different organisations – had a franchising theme at the October meeting. Franchise bidders and Forum members were shown presentations by the Office of Rail and Road and the Rail Delivery Group, before participating in a discussion about what operators could do to improve accessibility on the railway. We appreciate the engagement of the stakeholder groups that participate in this forum which closely informs our work on this agenda.

Cross Country competition cancelled

Following the announcement of a Rail Review, the Department for Transport (DfT)  decided that the competition for Cross Country will not proceed as planned. Services will continue to be run by the existing franchise operator with options beyond this to be considered in due course. The Department has stated that it will consider the responses to the Cross Country public consultation in the development of future options for the franchise.

Evaluating franchise proposals

The specifications for new rail franchises provide an important opportunity to seek improvements that will benefit passengers. Transport Focus therefore places strong emphasis on influencing the franchise replacement programme. We work closely with the DfT and we promote the passenger agenda to bidders to ensure a keen emphasis on service quality. Three franchise competitions for the South Eastern, West Coast Partnership and East Midlands franchises are now at evaluation stage with theDfT. Announcements about the winning bids will be made once the evaluation processes have concluded.

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