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Railhub Archive
2001-04-02 SRA-001
Strategic Rail Authority

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SRA acts to ensure early benefits for Chiltern


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Strategic Rail Authority

SRA acts to ensure early benefits for Chiltern
_______________________________________________________________


date
2 April 2001
source Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release



New trains, more car parking and bus/rail integration are in a package of improvements on the Chiltern franchise announced today by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA).

The SRA has acted to bring in the benefits, planned as part of a new franchise agreement being negotiated with Chiltern Railways, to ensure that passenger benefits do not have to wait for the new 20 year contract to be finalised.

The sSRA announced in August 2000 that it had signed a 'Heads of Terms' agreement with current Chiltern owners M40 Trains, for a new 20 year franchise. Progress towards signing the final contract has been delayed by
the need for Railtrack to carry out further development work and provide detailed cost estimates for the proposed infrastructure upgrades.

Today's agreement secures the following passenger benefits for the year 2001/02:
The ordering of an additional seven coaches to cater for growth.
Provision of an additional 580 parking spaces through extensions of 7
station car parks.
Extension of some peak London to Birmingham services to Stourbridge
Junction from May 2001.
Improved bus/rail integration at Bicester and Solihull/Dorridge.
Improved representation for stakeholders (grants for user groups and
introduction of an Advisory Board).
Tougher incentive regimes for performance and higher standard
requirements for customer satisfaction.
Development work to continue on infrastructure upgrades along the
route.
Development work to continue on plans to upgrade High Wycombe
station, provide level access to all Chiltern stations, and improve
passenger information and security.

SRA Chief Executive Mike Grant said,
"Today's announcement is good news for Chiltern passengers, who will soon see the first benefits of the franchise replacement process with improvements to their service. The SRA intends to sign a new long term franchise contract with M40 Trains as soon as possible, but today's announcement means that the early benefits of that new contract will remain on schedule".

The deal has been set out in a new Deed of Amendment to the existing seven year franchise. In order to assist in the implementation of service improvements, support levels due to be paid under the new franchise contract
have been brought forward for inclusion under the current agreement. A one-off payment is being made to Chiltern of £2.4million for 2000/01; the total additional subsidy for the year 2001/02 will be £5.1million. These payments are in line with those agreed at the time of signing Heads of Terms.

Notes to Editors
1. Chiltern Railways operate services throughout the M40 corridor between London and Birmingham, and local services between Aylesbury and London.
2. The current seven year franchise with M40 Trains expires in July 2003.
3. M40 Trains is a subsidiary of John Laing plc

Important Notice
This news release is issued by the Strategic Rail Authority 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 invitation 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 i nform themselves about and observe any such
restrictions.

KPMG Corporate Finance is acting for the Strategic Rail Authority and will not
regard any other person as its client in relation to passenger railway
franchising or be responsible to anyone other than the Strategic Rail Authority
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 ::: 2001-04-02 SRA-001





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