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1999-12-08 SRA-001
Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

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3.5 million Boost for New Rail Services Signals Start of Multi Million Programme


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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority



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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

3.5 million Boost for New Rail Services Signals Start of Multi Million Programme
_______________________________________________________________


date
8th December 1999
source Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release



The first two successful bids under the Government 's Rail Passenger
Partnership (RPP), together worth more than 3.5 million, were announced by
Mike Grant, Chief Executive of the SSRA today. They signal the start of a
multi-million pound programme to provide innovative new services and attract
people out of their cars and onto rail. A further three formal bids have been
received and, if successful, will be announced early in the new year. There
are more in the pipeline.

The RPP was launched in May with the intention of encouraging rail initiatives
at a local level such as enhanced services, integrated transport schemes and
park and ride facilities.

London Crosslink
The first of the schemes given the go ahead today was proposed by train
operator Anglia Railways. The innovative Crosslink service will run from
Chelmsford to Basingstoke across North London using new rolling stock. It
will provide a link to Heathrow via Feltham Gateway and to the Millennium
Dome via Stratford, as well as three Underground interchanges and a link to
Thameslink services. The new route aims to attract people who currently use
the congested A12/M25 corridors. The SSRA has agreed in principle to
support the development of the Crosslink service over three years to the tune
of approximately 2.8 million, subject to finalising legal documentation, and
the service should be up and running by May 2000 if detailed negotiations are
successfully completed by the train operator. The scheme is subject to
agreement on train paths between Anglia Railways and Railtrack.

Bristol - extra capacity
The second scheme is aimed at alleviating overcrowding on peak services
from Bath to Filton Abbey Wood and was proposed by train operator Wales &
West. The scheme will meet growing demand by providing more seats for
passengers by lengthening the existing services to Filton Abbey Wood. Filton
Abbey Wood, a new station opened in 1996, serves major local employers
and one of Bristol 's universities. It is already a busy hub, which is linked with
the area's shuttle bus service and comprehensive cycle routes. The service is
expected to be up and running by January 2000 and the SSRA has agreed in
principle to contribute 800k over three years.

Other Bids
The three other bids under consideration are from Chiltern Railways for
Warwick Parkway Station, from Metro, the West Yorkshire Passenger
Transport Executive (PTE), for provision of additional capacity on services to
and from Leeds and from Nexus, the PTE for Tyne and Wear, for the
development of the Durham Coastline phase 1.

Since the SSRA opened bidding for RPP, there have been many expressions
of interest of which 19 so far have been invited to submit formal bids for
detailed assessment. Schemes are appraised against the five main criteria set
out in the SSRA's Planning Criteria. These are environment, safety, economy,
accessibility and integration.

Welcoming today's announcement, Mike Grant said:

"These schemes signal the start of a programme of support for projects which
fulfil the Government's integrated transport policy aims and ensure service
enhancement via initiatives which meet local needs and provide value for
money for both passengers and the taxpayer.

"The London Crosslink is the first east to west cross London rail service. It will
create new journey opportunities including connections to Heathrow Airport,
the Millennium Dome and Underground and Thameslink interchanges. It is
also expected to help ease the congested A12/M25 route by attracting those
who currently use their car.

"The Filton Abbey Wood scheme will enable the service to meet increasing
demand to the station and will attract people out of their cars and onto public
transport.

"We have already received a number of innovative ideas under the RPP
scheme and welcome further bids from local authorities, train operating
companies, Passenger Transport Executives/ Authorities and private
companies. I expect to make more awards in the new year."

Notes to Editors
1. The Rail Passenger Partnership scheme was launched in the
Government's Integrated Transport White Paper as an important
building block in the SSRA's preparation of a strategic plan for Britain's
railways.
2. 105 million of new public funding was announced in DETR 's
Departmental Annual Report 1999, published on 25 March. It covers
Rail Passenger Partnership and Infrastructure Investment Fund for
three years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. It is expected that around
20 million will be allocated in year one.
3. SSRA will be working with GB Railways Group Plc and Prism Rail PLC
to finalise the legal arrangements that will give effect to these
commitments. Once legal documents are completed they will be placed
on the Franchising Director's public register in the normal way. Both
awards are subject to contractual terms being agreed with the
operators.
4. London Crosslink service will link East to West across North London
and will avoid changing in central London. The service will also provide
links to:
Heathrow Airport via the Feltham Gateway, which has a dedicated
frequent bus service.
Millennium Dome via Stratford, via the Jubilee Line.
Underground, Thameslink, WAGN's Great Northern Electrics branch
and Silverlink services at Highbury and Islington and West Hampstead.
East Anglia via Chelmsford, Hampshire and Dorset via Basingstoke,
Berkshire via Feltham and Hertfordshire via Highbury and Islington and
West Hampstead.
5. Filton Abbey Wood station serves major employers Hewlett Packard,
Ministry of Defence and the University of the West of England. The
station is linked with a bus service, which covers the immediate local
area, as well as a cycle route that serves the area.
6. The bidding process for RPP was announced by the SSRA in May
1999.



Railhub Archive ::: 1999-12-08 SRA-001





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