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Railhub Archive
2002-01-31 SRA-001
Strategic Rail Authority


Merseytravel to assume responsibility for region's local train network

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Strategic Rail Authority

Merseytravel to assume responsibility for region's local train network

31 January 2002
source Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release

A significant step has been taken towards achieving the goal, outlined in the
Strategic Plan, of transferring the responsibility for the future management of
the Merseyrail Electrics franchise to Merseytravel, the Merseyside Passenger
Transport Authority and Executive.

John Spellar, the Minister for Transport, announced in Parliament today that
he would take forward the proposal to exempt the Merseyrail Electrics
franchise from the SRA franchising process, allowing Merseytravel to let the
services as a local concession. The move provides the opportunity to gain the
benefits of closer integration with other transport modes in Merseyside whilst
retaining national rail network advantages, such as through ticketing and
access to the National Rail Enquiry Scheme (NRES).

Subject to the successful passage of a Parliamentary Order, it is anticipated
the successful bidder for the concession let by Merseytravel will assume
control from the end of the current franchise on 2nd February 2003. The SRA
is working closely with Merseytravel on the letting process.

Richard Bowker, Chairman of the SRA, said:

"The Merseyrail Electrics franchise is Merseyside's commuter rail system. Its
self-contained nature makes it uniquely suited to greater local control and
accountability. It therefore makes sense that Merseytravel should take greater
responsibility in order to facilitate better integration with their overall transport

Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, welcomed the announcement saying:

"This is great news for the travelling public on Merseyside. We can now move
forward in delivering a first class railway system as part of our integrated
public transport network which will be accessible to everyone."

Notes to Editors

1. Arriva Trains Merseyside currently operates passenger rail services
between Liverpool and Southport, Ormskirk, Kirkby, Hunts Cross, New
Brighton, West Kirby, Chester and Ellesmere Port. The greater part of Arriva
Trains Merseyside's services are supported by, and operate to, the
specification of, Merseytravel (the Merseyside PTA and PTE).

2. The self -contained nature of the network, the services and the market it
serves means that the Merseyrail Electrics network is uniquely suited to
greater local control and accountability. There are no plans to transfer
responsibilities for other franchises.

3. The Parliamentary Order will be laid following a period of consultation. The
Order then lies before Parliament for 3 months.

4. Under the current franchise conditions the Merseyrail Electrics franchise
will continue to be run by Arriva PLC until 2nd February 2003.

Railhub Archive ::: 2002-01-31 SRA-001


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