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Railhub Archive
2001-09-14 DTR-001
Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions


Byers invites SRA to progress new Transpennine Express franchise

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Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

Byers invites SRA to progress new Transpennine Express franchise

14 Sep 2001 00:00
source Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions
type Press release

The SRA is to take forward proposals for a new TransPennine Express rail franchise following today''s decision by Transport Secretary Stephen Byers. They will also liaise with local transport authorities in the North of England on the franchise.

A new TransPennine Express franchise should deliver a new generation of frequent, fast, high quality train services between major towns and cities in the north of England. It would include investment in new trains - increasing resilience, and improving performance and reliability - and improvements to stations, including to customer information systems and access.

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has been charged with drawing up the detailed requirement for a new TransPennine rail franchise and will now liaise with the five Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) which deliver local transport services in the areas it covers.

Commenting on the new franchise Stephen Byers said:

''There is clearly potential to develop a new TransPennine franchise that will deliver real benefits to passengers in the north of England. I am looking to the SRA to identify passengers'' requirements for this new franchise, working closely with the PTEs which are responsible for many local services in the region, and with other local and regional stakeholders.

''The M62 corridor has particular congestion problems and few public transport alternatives - the Government''s #180 billion 10 Year Transport Plan is about tackling these issues and providing modern, sustainable transport alternatives and giving the public more choice on how they travel. A new TransPennine Express franchise could deliver such benefits.

The franchise would serve the major regional centres - Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Hull - but I hope that the SRA will be able to negotiate with bidders a basis for providing additional benefits more widely across the region. I will be considering the SRA''s proposals for the other local services in the region within the next few months. Our joint aim will be to ensure that as a result of the refranchising process those services also benefit from additional investment and commitment.''

Notes to Editors

1. The Secretary of State is giving a direction under section 26 of the Railways Act 1993 to allow the SRA to proceed to the next stage of awarding a TransPennine franchise. Such a direction triggers the rights of PTEs to specify services in accordance with section 34 of the 1993 Act.

2. The Secretary of State has invited the SRA, in the light of the results of this process, to develop a baseline specification for the franchise which establishes a minimum package of services, standards and investment, including the provision of some new rolling stock. He expects it to invite revised final bids from the three bidders shortlisted for the franchise - Arriva plc, Connex Transport UK Ltd and First Group/Keolis SA (formerly Via GTI) - against this specification. The SRA may also identify potential enhancements to this baseline proposal that can be implemented, in due course, if they prove to represent value for money and to be affordable.

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Railhub Archive ::: 2001-09-14 DTR-001


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