Bidders to oversee improvements on rail franchises announced

Published on Thursday, 29 March 2012 11:08
Posted by Scott Buckler

Improvements for rail passengers under Government franchise plans came a step closer as the bidders to run services were announced by Rail Minister Theresa Villiers today

A total of 13 firms are in the running to become the next operators of the Great Western, Thameslink and Essex Thameside rail franchises and introduce better train services, safer stations and more convenient ways to buy tickets.

Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said

    “The Government is engaged in the biggest programme of refranchising since the privatisation of the railways. Our reformed approach to franchising will give more flexibility to train operators on how they configure services and run their business, within a framework set by the franchise agreement which will protect key outcomes for the passenger, the taxpayer and the economy.

We welcome the strong interest shown in these three competitions by the rail industry. A vibrant and competitive market for franchises is an important part of our strategy for improving services for passengers and reducing the cost of running the railway.”

    “The new Great Western franchise operator will be closely involved in improving rail services following the completion of the electrification and Intercity Express projects.”

    “The new Thameslink operator will help oversee the completion of the Thameslink project which will enable a near doubling of capacity into and through central London in the peak periods.”

    “The operator of Essex Thameside services will be expected to support economic growth along the Thames Gateway.”

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