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Railhub Archive
1999-12-09 SRA-002
Shadow Strategic Rail Authority


Franchise replacement

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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

Franchise replacement

9 December 1999
source Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release

I wrote to you on the 7th October 1999 formally inviting you to offer proposals
for franchise replacement for all existing franchises which expire within the
next five years.

On November 24 1999 I announced the first three franchises where I intended
to start renegotiations for replacement. I also indicated that I would announce
during the first quarter of next year which franchises would form the second
tranche of the replacement process.

My purpose in writing to you now is to outline the process for taking forward
the second stage of the Franchise Replacement programme.

The aims of franchise replacement remain as stated in my press release of 24
November 1999. However this time I intend to select no more than four
franchise areas, which may not necessarily be based on the existing franchise
map, which would bring forward innovative ideas and improved services in the
following strategic areas of interest:-

Planning and implementing the Thameslink 2000 network of services
North, South and through central London;
Improving London commuter services and easing capacity restraints at
Waterloo, Liverpool Street and Paddington;
Relieving regional capacity bottlenecks around Birmingham and
Introducing new services "around" London making use of the East,
North and West London lines;
Serving the interests of Wales and the North West more effectively;
Recognising the value of inter urban trans -Pennine services;

The criteria for selecting proposals to go forward remain as stated in my letter
of the 7 October, as does the need for wide consultation with representative
bodies. Again I emphasise there can be no guarantee of a successful
renegotiation and I always have the option of allowing existing franchises to
expire and offering them for retender.

As before those parties who submit proposals that are selected to go forward
will be expected to sign a Franchise Replacement Process Agreement, which,
inter alia, will require them to:

Disclose to me financial and other information about their proposal on
an 'open book' basis;
(For existing incumbents) give their consent to the eventual disclosure
to qualified bidders of historic, financial and performance information
relating to the existing franchise to third parties;
Prepare such disaggregated financial and performance information as I
may deem reasonably necessary for the purposes of evaluating variant
offers proposed by me;
Supply a business plan supporting the proposal.

I expect to announce which franchise areas to take forward in the second
tranche by the end of February 2000. Again other parties will then have sixty
days, after a short prequalification period, to bring forward alternative
proposals for those franchise areas.

If you have already submitted proposals to me, you may want to revise them
in the light of what I have said above. All proposals should be with me by the
1st February 2000.

I am placing a copy of this letter on the SSRA 's web site and will be taking a
number of other steps to publicise this opportunity.

Yours sincerely
Mike Grant
Franchising Director

Railhub Archive ::: 1999-12-09 SRA-002


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