East Midlands rail franchise consultation response
12 October 2017
When new franchise deals are let we want to see passenger views at the heart of the decisions about their services.
The East Midlands franchise, currently operated by Stagecoach as East Midlands Trains, ends in summer 2019 (following the award of an anticipated interim, short-term ‘direct award’ contract) and the Department for Transport (DfT) is running a competition to find the next operator. This document sets out many important issues that should be addressed in the franchise specification, and by bidders before the contract is let.
As part of the consultation process, the DfT asked Transport Focus to carry out research to understand passengers’ current experiences and explore their needs and aspirations for the East Midlands franchise.
The key message from our research, and set out in our consultation response, is that East Midlands Trains passengers currently have a dependable service that delivers the basics well. The competition for the next franchise must seize the opportunity to provide an outstanding journey for rail passengers in the East Midlands.