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2000-06-15 SRA-001
Shadow Strategic Rail Authority


New Prism deal brings £20.5 million boost for rail

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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

New Prism deal brings £20.5 million boost for rail

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2000-06-15 New Prism deal paves way for Wales and Borders franchise (Shadow Strategic Rail Authority)


15 June 2000
source Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release

The Franchising Director has today reached agreement in principle with Prism
Rail PLC on the restructuring of the group's current portfolio of passenger rail
franchises - West Anglia Great Northern (WAGN), Wales and West, Cardiff
Railway, and LTS Rail. This follows talks announced by both parties on 28

Under the agreement, the company will retain the LTS franchise through to its
expiry in 2011 and may invest £20.5 million on the line in areas to be agreed
with the SSRA. In addition, CCTV will be fitted in all of the current order of 46
new trains, to compensate further for their late introduction into service.

The effect of the deal on the other three franchises is as follows:
The Wales & West and Cardiff Railway franchises will be surrendered on 31
March 2001. This will facilitate the SSRA's proposals to create a single
franchise for Wales and the Borders, currently the subject of a detailed
feasibility study.
WAGN will be separated into two business units: Great Northern (Kings
Lynn, Cambridge and Peterborough services to Kings Cross, and Welwyn
Garden City and Hertford North local services to Kings Cross and Moorgate)
and West Anglia (Cambridge line and North East London services into
Liverpool Street, including Stansted Express).
Great Northern will be relinquished on 31 March 2001 to facilitate integration
of its services with the £800 million Thameslink 2000 project, which goes to
public inquiry later this month.
West Anglia will be retained until April 2004, although Prism have indicated
that they will co operate with the Franchising Director if he wishes to
commence any refranchising process involving West Anglia before this expiry
date. The existing subsidy for WAGN will be split between the two

Commenting on the restructuring deal, Franchising Director and SSRA Chief
Executive, Mike Grant, said:

"We have always sought in our franchise negotiations to achieve the best
possible outcome for passengers and the taxpayer.

"The new arrangements for the three shorter term Prism franchises, which
were originally let for seven years, reflect this and will greatly accelerate the
national franchise replacement programme - particularly in Wales, where we
are investigating a single franchise. In London the ability to integrate the Great
Northern services will considerably enhance the new Thameslink 2000
proposal. For LTS, the extra £20.5 million investment, and the commitment to on train
CCTV offer real added value for passengers on this busy Essex line".

Note to Editors
The restructuring deal is subject to completion of final legal documentation. It
is expected that the necessary amendments to the existing franchise
agreements in order to reflect these changes will be finalised by the end of
The SSRA has negotiated with Prism two previous passenger dividend
packages for LTS passengers. On 21 December 1999, a comprehensive multi
£ million package was agreed to compensate for late delivery of 44 new
trains. On 12 May 2000, reductions of up to £168 in the cost of season ticket
renewals were secured following failure to provide sufficient capacity for
A decision on a Wales and the Borders franchise is expected over the next
couple of months on completion of current studies and following further

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-06-15 SRA-001


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