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2002-11-06 STG-001
Stagecoach Group

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Stagecoach Group welcomes new South West Trains franchise deal


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Stagecoach Group

Stagecoach Group welcomes new South West Trains franchise deal
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2002-11-06 SRA announces new approach for South West Trains (Strategic Rail Authority)

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date
6 November 2002
source Stagecoach Group
type Press release



Stagecoach Group today welcomed the decision by the Strategic Rail Authority ("SRA") to award it a new franchise to run South West Trains, the largest passenger rail franchise in the country.

The franchise award is the first to be made in accordance with the new franchising policy announced today and places responsibility for funding and delivering infrastructure projects with the SRA, leaving South West Trains to focus on delivering a better train service to passengers.

The deal consists of a 13-month extension to the existing franchise, followed by a new three year franchise running until February 2007. It also provides for a further two year extension subject to both parties reaching agreement. Details of the new franchise are still to be finalised.

The deal details a number of passenger benefits, including:
The replacement of all Mark 1 rolling stock by the end of 2004.
A new performance plan designed to guarantee passengers better levels of punctuality and reliability.

Under the new deal, services between Waterloo and the West Country and Reading and Brighton will remain within South West Trains.

Brian Souter, chief executive of Stagecoach Group, said the new franchise was good news for passengers served by Britain’s biggest franchise.

"Richard Bowker and his team have made significant strides in railway franchising in the last few weeks. We are pleased to be the first group to sign up under the new arrangements. We believe that this partnership where the SRA takes a key role in driving vital infrastructure improvements whilst we focus on passenger service delivery and operational efficiency is the right formula."

Graham Eccles, Stagecoach's rail director, also welcomed the deal.
“Now we can get on with the important job of improving services for our passengers at Waterloo and beyond. This deal provides security for South West Trains' passengers and staff and paves the way for the introduction of our new train fleet.”

Inquiries to:

John Kiely, Smithfield Financial Tel. 020 7360 4900
Robert Ballantyne, Stagecoach Group Tel. 01738 442 111
Jane Lee, South West Trains Tel. 020 7620 5678


Railhub Archive ::: 2002-11-06 STG-001





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