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1998-11-11 OPR-001
OPRAF

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Improvement for passengers on LTS Rail


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OPRAF

Improvement for passengers on LTS Rail
_______________________________________________________________


date
11 November 1998
source OPRAF
type Press release



Passengers on LTS Rail will benefit from improved services and facilities
following an agreement with franchisee Prism Rail PLC announced today by
Franchising Director John O 'Brien.

The benefits arise from a renegotiation of the franchise plan commitments to
the benefit of passengers. Under the original franchise plan the intention was
that LTS would replace its oldest slam door rolling stock with 100 sliding door
vehicles. These would be made available by West Anglia Great Northern
(WAGN), another of Prism 's franchises, when it took delivery of its own new
rolling stock.

LTS has taken over 68 of the sliding door vehicles but, due to passenger
growth, WAGN is not now able to release the remaining 32 vehicles. LTS also
has passenger growth, and renegotiation of the franchise enables both
companies to increase capacity quickly and cost effectively. As part of that
renegotiation, Prism has agreed to provide a package of additional benefits
for LTS passengers. These benefits include:

All slam door rolling stock will be replaced with modern sliding door vehicles
by the end of March 2002, and the fleet increased by at least 12 vehicles.

Improved Passenger's Charter commitments: the punctuality standard and
trigger for season ticket discounts will be raised immediately by 1 % - to 93%
and 90% respectively; compensation for delays of 60 minutes or more will be
increased from 20% to 50%.

Tighter thresholds for cancellations and capacity will be introduced
immediately, so that call-in, breach or default would be triggered at a lower
level; thresholds will be tightened further in April 2000.

2 million will be spent on passenger benefits, to include real-time passenger
information systems and extended staffing hours, by the end of March 2000; a
further 50,000 will be spent in each of the remaining years of the franchise
on extended staffing hours.

Improvements to facilities for disabled people: by the end of March 2000 all
main stations will have a disabled toilet, tactile maps, train boarding ramps,
and induction loops or acoustic windows at ticket offices.

Improvements to passenger security by the end of March 2000: LTS will seek
accreditation for all stations under the DETR Secure Stations Scheme, and for
all car parks under the independent Secure Car Parking Scheme; prosecution
standard CCTV will be installed at all stations.

Two further experimental bus links will be introduced by the end of March
1999, and maintained for at least three years.

Up to 700,000 wi ll be offered towards the provision of pedestrian access
from Chafford Hundred station to Lakeside Shopping Centre by the end of
March 2000.

Cycle storage facilities will be provided at a further six stations by the end of
March 2000.

Early morning season tickets to Fenchurch Street, offering a discount of at
least 20%, will be introduced more widely from May 1999.

Announcing the renegotiation, Mr O'Brien said:

"I believe that this provides a good example of the improvements which can
be achieved through franchise renegotiation. I am very encouraged by the
positive approach which Prism Rail have taken, and the substantial benefits
they have offered. The slam door rolling stock will still be replaced, and
passengers can also look forward to a wide ranging set of improvements to
services and facilities."

Welcoming the agreement, Giles Fearnley, Chief Executive of Prism Rail,
said:

"I am delighted that additional benefits for passengers are being made
available. They provide a further step towards our goal of creating a totally
modern railway at LTS Rail."

Notes to Editors

1. The LTS Rail franchise was awarded to Prism Rail Plc in May 1996, for a
period of 15 years.

2. Under their original franchise plan LTS Rail have already separately placed
an order for 176 ne w vehicles which will replace most of their remaining slam
door rolling stock. The new agreement provides for an increased fleet from
the end of March 2002, all of which will be sliding door stock.

3. OPRAF will now be working with 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.


Railhub Archive ::: 1998-11-11 OPR-001





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