West Coast franchise direct award – Passenger Focus submission to the Department for Transport
01 January 2014
Passenger Focus believes that when the franchises are awarded it is vital that the needs of passengers who use and pay for rail services are placed squarely at the heart of the contract.
The existing Virgin West Coast franchise has run for a considerable time but, following amendments to the franchising timetable, there is now a requirement for an interim contract before a new franchise is re-let after an open competition.
The Direct Award itself will run for around two and a half years and passengers will expect the franchise to do more than just mark time during this period. It is imperative that the Direct Award builds customer trust and confidence. It can only do this if it includes mechanisms to unlock investment, deliver real passenger benefits and provide firm foundations on which the next franchise can build.