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Railhub Archive
2000-06-20 SRA-001
Strategic Rail Authority


Sir Alastair Morton sets out map for UK rail

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Strategic Rail Authority

Sir Alastair Morton sets out map for UK rail

20 June 2000
source Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release

Important changes to the future delivery of Britain's passenger rail services -
focussed on customers' needs, local accountability, and best operational fit -
were put into context by SSRA Chairman, Sir Alastair Morton today. The
current refranchising process paves the way for further progress with the
replacement of the 18 short term franchises and is a big step towards the
development of a 20 year strategy for the railway.

The full shape of Britain's railway services, which follows extensive
consultation, is based on the creation of three distinct service groupings - long
distance, high speed (expanded from InterCity); London Commuter, and
Regional services. The final detailed shape of the franchises created within
the groups will only be set once bidders' plans have been considered and
following consultation with key stakeholders.

Announcing plans for changes required to complete the map, Sir Alastair said:

" Our guiding principle is to improve service, not to introduce change for
change's sake. What we are proposing is a map that will revitalise the
network, with franchise areas designed to relate better to each other and to
provide improved accessibility for passengers. People are now using rail in
the largest numbers for 50 years - the changes we are proposing are intended
to ensure sufficient capacity and investment to ensure this trend continues to
provide for 50% growth in travel in the coming decade".

The main alterations and amalgamations covered by the new franchise map

Trans Pennine Express: Upgraded to long distance high speed

Northern: Will combine local and Passenger Transport Executive
(PTE) services currently run by First North Western and Northern
Spirit. It will focus strongly on working with PTEs, with a dedicated
business unit for each PTE area.

Wales and the borders: Would replace four existing franchises which
have no clear focus. This is widely supported, consultation is underway
and a decision to proceed is expected next month.

Thameslink 2000: A new franchise to provide a larger
group of cross - London services, running directly to a
wider range of central London destinations.

West Anglia Great Eastern: re uniting a logical
grouping of services and simplifying operations in and
out of Liverpool Street.

Consequential and other significant changes to other franchises are already in
the public domain, but were reviewed by Sir Alastair and SSRA Chief
Executive, Mike Grant, at a press briefing today.

Replacement of the shorter term franchises, expiring by 2004, should be
completed in 2001. The process is already underway on Chiltern, East Coast
Mainline, South Central, South West, Central and Trans Pennine Express.
The next franchise to be put up for replacement will be Thameslink, to be
followed by a decision on Wales Rail. In particular, stakeholders in the English
services of Wales and West will be consulted and their concerns addressed.
There is a potential Wessex franchise covering interurban and local services
between the West Midlands and the South Coast.

Mike Grant outlined the rationale behind today's
announcement and the next moves………

" Our plans take forward the franchise replacement programme through to its
completion before the end of next year, meaning selection and agreement on
principal terms by autumn 2001.

" We have indicated the strategy and approach we want to adopt on re -
drawing those parts of the franchise map which need to change to achieve a
better grouping of service patterns than emerged at privatisation.
"We have tapped the views of all affected stakeholders and made a
substantial step forward in the provision of improved passenger rail services
for this, and the following decade.

" The emphasis now is on early delivery of the proposals following proper
consultation. The aim is to secure the investment to make it all happen. You
can expect the SSRA to be driving this process forward as quickly as is

Notes to Editors

1. A national map of the broad regional areas for the new franchise plan is
attached. Separate maps depicting the proposed regional implications of the
changes can be obtained from the SSRA press office

2. The SSRA's objective has been to establish stronger train operating
companies with longer franchises and the ability to invest to provide extra
capacity and higher quality services to meet growing demand.

3. Following today's announcement, of the current 25 passenger rail
businesses, changes are proposed for six, seven new franchises would be
created, three would be incorporated in other franchises and nine remain
unchanged, reducing the total number of franchises to 22.

4. The complete list of the re drawn franchises is as follows:

Long Distance High Speed

Virgin West Coast*
East Coast
Midland Main Line*
Great Western*
Anglia /Humber
Virgin Cross Country*
Trans Pennine Express

Regional Interurban

Central Trains
Wessex Rail

London Commuter

Connex South Eastern*
South Central
South Western
Silverlink County
Thameslink 2000
West Anglia Great Eastern

Airport Express

Gatwick Express*
(possibly with Stansted Skytrain
and a marketing link with
with Heathrow Express).

* Longer (10 - 15 year) franchise already awarded.

[[There is no paragraph 5 in this document]]

6. For Merseyrail Electrics, SSRA is discussing with the PTE a proposal that
they should become the franchising authority. The electric lines on
Merseyside are virtually separate from the rest of the network and it seems far
better that this specialised operation, which is not part of the strategic national
network, should be under closer local control and accountability.

7. SSRA has initiated discussions with the Isle of Wight Council for greater
local accountability and control of the Island Line. It is a unique railway - not
part of the national strategic network - which might be franchised locally as
part of an integrated transport strategy for the Island.

8. The Franchising Director can exercise his right to allow the existing
franchises to run to expiry and re-tender if acceptable replacement terms
cannot be agreed either with the incumbent or a new bidder.

9. The existing 25 passenger rail franchises are shown below:

Franchise Franchisee Franchise Length Start Finish
Anglia Railways GB Railways Group Plc. 7 yrs 3 mth 1.97 4.04
Cardiff Railway Prism Rail PLC. 5 yrs 3 mth 10.96 3.01
Central Trains National Express Group PLC. 7 yrs 1 mth 3.97 4.04
Chiltern Railways M40 Trains Limited (John Laing plc). 7 yrs 7.96 7.03
Connex South Central Connex Rail Limited (subsidiary 7 yrs 5.96
of Vivendi SA).
Connex South Eastern Connex Rail Limited (subsidiary 15 yrs 10.96 10.11
of Vivendi SA).
CrossCountry Virgin Rail Group Limited. 15 yrs 1.97 4.12
Gatwick Express National Express Group PLC. 15 yrs 4.96 5.11
Great Eastern FirstGroup plc. 7 yrs 3 mth 1.97 4.04
Great North Eastern Railway GNER Holdings Limited 7 yrs 4.96 4.03
(subsidiary of Sea Containers Ltd.)
Great Western Great Western Holdings Limited 10 yrs 2.96 2.06
(subsidiary of FirstGroup plc).
Island Line Stagecoach Holdings plc. 5 yrs 10.96 10.01
LTS Rail Prism Rail PLC. 15 yrs 5.96 5.11
Merseyrail Electrics ARRIVA plc. 1 yr. 2.00 2.01
Midland Mainline National Express Group PLC. 10 yrs 4.96 4.06
North Western Trains Great Western Holdings Limited 7 yrs 1 mth 3.97 4.04
(subsidiary of FirstGroup plc).
Northern Spirit ARRIVA plc. 1 yr. 2.00 2.01
ScotRail National Express Group PLC. 7 yrs 3.97 4.04
Silverlink National Express Group PLC. 7 yrs 6 mth 3.97 10.04
South West Trains Stagecoach Holdings plc. 7 yrs 2.96 2.03
Thames Trains Victory Railways Holdings Limited 7 yrs 6 mth 10.96 4.04
(subsidiary of The Go-Ahead Group Plc).
Thameslink GOVIA Limited (Go-Ahead Group 7 yrs 1 mth 3.97 4.04
and Via G.T.I. SA).
Wales & West Prism Rail PLC. 5 yrs 3 mth 10.96 3.01
West Anglia Prism Rail PLC. 7 yrs 3 mth 1.97 4.04
Great Northern Prism Rail PLC. 5 yrs 3 mth 1.97 3.01
West Coast Trains Virgin Rail Group Limited. 15 yrs 3.97 03.12

Important Notice

This news release is issued by the Franchising Director and its contents have
been approved for the purposes of section 57 of the Financial Services Act
1986 by KPMG Corporate Finance.

KPMG Corporate Finance is a division of KPMG which is authorised to carry
on investment business by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England
and Wales. This news release has been prepared for general information
purposes only and is not intended to form the basis of any investment
decision or constitute an offer or i nvitation to bid for any passenger rail
franchise or to acquire shares in a train operating company. Neither this news
release nor any copy of it should be taken into or distributed in Canada,
France, Japan or the United States except in accordance with an applicable
exemption. The distribution of this news release in other jurisdictions may be
restricted by law and therefore persons into whose possession this news
release comes should inform themselves about and observe any such

KPMG Corporate Finance is acting for the Franchising Director and will not
regard any other person as its client in relation to passenger railway
franchising or be responsible to anyone other than the Franchising Director for
providing the protections afforded to clients of KPMG Corporate Finance nor
for advising any other person on the contents of this news release or any
matter referred to in it.

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-06-20 SRA-001


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