Transport User Voice – You and your train company

28 March 2017

New South Western franchise operator

The winner of the South Western rail franchise has been announced as First MTR, a joint venture of the First Group and Hong Kong’s MTR.

In our research, passengers using the South West network told us their main priorities for a new operator are: boosting reliability and more space to sit and stand in some comfort. They also want to see a better on-train experience, stations modernised and improved information. We included these aspirations in our work with the Department for Transport (DfT) when working on the franchise outline and when talking to the bidders. We hope to see the passenger voice strongly built into the new franchise.

We will be looking to see how these ambitious proposals of the winning bid live up to their promises of new trains, more services, smarter ticketing including flexible season tickets and lots of other promised improvements will deliver for passengers.

Passengers will be pleased to also see the introduction of boosted compensation through Delay Repay triggers being set at the lower level of 15 minutes – a big step in the right direction in building trust with passengers. 

South Eastern – look out for consultation events

The DfT has launched a consultation on the next franchise, which closes on 23 May. There will be a number of public events at stations between March and May and three stakeholder events during April. The consultation document, including the schedule of events (page 41), can be found here.

But what do we know about passengers’ experiences of using the Southeastern network and their hopes for its future? We will be publishing the results of this research shortly. The DfT has also published its expression of interest documentation for potential bidders for the new franchise which will start in December 2018.

East Midlands train services – what do passengers think

What do East Midlands Trains passengers think of their service? What do they want for the future? We’re about to find out. Research is about to start into what passengers using East Midland Train services.

There are now three bidders for the new franchise – Stagecoach (the current operator), Arriva and First Trenitalia. The DfT will hold a public consultation on the new franchise, and we will share details of this and how to respond soon.

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