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2003-10-20 SRA-001
Strategic Rail Authority

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Wales and Borders franchise signing


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Strategic Rail Authority

Wales and Borders franchise signing
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2003-08-01 SRA announces preferred bidder for new integrated Wales franchise (Strategic Rail Authority)

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date
20 October 2003
source Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release



Rail passengers in Wales can look forward to an improved journey experience when the new integrated Wales & Borders Franchise starts on 7th December 2003.

This follows the signing of a new franchise agreement with Arriva Trains Ltd to operate the Wales & Borders franchise, which covers all local and regional train services in Wales and the Border counties.

The key commitments contained within the new franchise include:
Current service levels maintained;
Final development of a simplified, user-friendly timetable, as well as
better performance and connections, planned for December 2005 for
both the Valley Lines and inter-urban services;
Introduction of seven class 150 Diesel Multiple Units planned from
December 2004, leading to greater operational flexibility and resilience,
to replace current, less suitable stock;
A better compensation scheme for passengers, including full refunds
for those customers who are delayed by more than sixty minutes;
Introduction of 30 new integrated bus ticket schemes (in addition to
those already in operation) by November 2005, allowing many new
opportunities for simpler through journeys;
Improved bi-lingual access, including a Welsh Language customer
service phone line, passenger timetables and information, full bi-lingual
signage and recorded station announcements at stations where there
are existing public address systems by May 2004;
Introduction of a new, customer-focused `Station Adopter' scheme;
£400,000 on improving station car parks at Cardiff Central (Wood
Street), Chester, Hereford, Newport and Shrewsbury;
Abolition of the £1 reservation charge for bicycles on trains.

SRA Chairman, Richard Bowker, said: "Today marks a step change in the way the railway delivers for the people of Wales. For the very first time, Wales will have a unified railway under a single operational management structure. This has all been achieved through partnership between the Welsh Assembly Government and the SRA, and Arriva Trains will now concentrate on what matters most to passengers - improved performance, reliability and punctuality."

Arriva Chief Executive, Bob Davies, said: "The SRA announced that we were preferred bidder for the 15 year franchise at the beginning of August and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement which will enable us to take over the franchise on 7 December 2003. Our focus will be to ensure we deliver a safe railway with improved performance, reliability and punctuality for existing and new customers."

Andrew Davies, Wales' Minister for Economic Development and Transport, said:
"The Welsh Assembly Government has given a high priority to improving transport infrastructure including road and rail and the development of improved public transport on buses, community transport, trains and air. I am
looking forward to working with Arriva to improve the existing service and to develop new passenger services on the Vale of Glamorgan and Ebbw Valley lines."

Notes to Editors
1. The projected level of public subsidy, excluding Rail Passenger Partnership (RPP) schemes and services funded directly by the Welsh Assembly Government and local authorities, for the new integrated Wales & Borders franchise is detailed below.

2003/04 - £43.9 million
2004/05 - £120.7 million
2005/06 - £120.1 million
2006/07 - £121.7 million
2007/08 - £119.5 million
2008/09 - £117.4 million
2009/10 - £115.7 million
2010/11 - £114.6 million
2011/12 - £112.8 million


Railhub Archive ::: 2003-10-20 SRA-001





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