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2003-07-11 STG-001
Stagecoach Group

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Stagecoach Group signs new South West Trains deal


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Stagecoach Group

Stagecoach Group signs new South West Trains deal
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2003-07-11 Three year South West Trains deal signed (Strategic Rail Authority)

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date
11 July 2003
source Stagecoach Group
type Press release



Stagecoach Group is pleased to announce that it has now signed a deal with the Strategic Rail Authority (“SRA”) for the South West Trains franchise.

This will come into effect on 1 February 2004 and is for a minimum term of three years, expiring on 4 February 2007. It follows the one-year extension to the existing franchise agreed last year. There is also an option to extend the deal for a further five years subject to the agreement of both parties.

Stagecoach Group is confident that the agreement - covering the country’s biggest rail franchise – provides significant added benefits for passengers, reinforces the positive financial prospects of the Group, has the right balance of risk and return, and will deliver consistent value to shareholders.

The franchise places responsibility for funding and delivering infrastructure projects with the SRA, leaving South West Trains to focus on delivering a better train service to passengers.

Highlights of the new deal include:

The replacement of the Mark 1 trains with a new £645million pound fleet of modern Desiro trains, Britain’s biggest order for new trains;
A comprehensive plan to improve punctuality, including making rolling stock route-specific, measures to boost rolling stock reliability, and timetable initiatives;
The refurbishment of the inner suburban 455 fleet to improve reliability and passenger comfort;
£6 million to fund on-going fleet reliability improvements;
Revenue and profit-sharing agreement with the SRA;
A commitment to carry out a repainting programme at 75 stations;
The introduction of new state-of-the art automatic ticket machines;
Continued funding for a number of recently introduced evening and late night services and for existing integrated transport initiatives such as bus links and small car schemes;
Continuation of the Passengers’ Panel.
There are also optional projects in the franchise, which include:

Work to improve passenger circulation at Waterloo Station;
The recast of the Windsor line services to provide more track capacity for additional peak services
Brian Souter, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted to have signed the new South West Trains deal, which is a major step forward for the Group. It is an excellent deal for Government, our passengers, our shareholders and our people. We are confident the terms of the new deal will allow us to generate a stable and predictable return for our shareholders over the life of the franchise.”

Graham Eccles, Executive Director Rail at Stagecoach Group, added: “South West Trains is the busiest rail franchise in the country and this cements our position as a major operator within the UK rail market. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the SRA on the delivery of the future strategic direction of the railways.”

ENDS

Enquiries to:
Steve Stewart, Stagecoach Group, 01738 442111
Jane Lee, South West Trains, 020 7620 5229
John Kiely, Smithfield Financial, 020 7360 4900


Railhub Archive ::: 2003-07-11 STG-001





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