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2005-11-07 DfT-001
Department for Transport

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Consultation document on South Western franchise published


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Department for Transport

Consultation document on South Western franchise published
_______________________________________________________________


date
7 Nov 2005 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release



The Department for Transport today launched a consultation on the specification for the South Western franchise.

The South Western franchise will commence in February 2007 and will combine two existing franchises, South West Trains and Island Line.

The consultation document specifies that the future operator must sustain and build on recent performance improvements in the franchise area. The document proposes a specification that will:

* Deliver faster and more frequent London Waterloo - Weymouth services
* Increase off-peak capacity and journey opportunities in south Hampshire
* Outline plans for improved security and revenue collection at stations, including
gating at London Waterloo and other key stations
* Provide initiatives to reduce crowding levels, improve journey quality, generate more off-peak journeys and outline innovative solutions to increase capacity to meet growing demand, including extra and refurbished carriages at peak times
* Examine an hourly Waterloo - Salisbury - Exeter service * Provide a framework for securing the long-term future for the Island Line
* Provide priced options for Airtrack services, Swanage branch re-connection and improvements in service levels on the
Waterloo-Exeter line

Responses are invited through Local Authorities or the Rail Passenger Council from 07 November 2005 to 13 January 2006.

The Invitation to Tender will be issued in March 2006 and the successful bidder is expected to be announced in Autumn 2006. The new franchise will commence in February 2007.

Transport Minister Derek Twigg said:

"Passengers in the franchise area are already seeing better services, including an investment of £1billion in rolling stock, a new timetable that has better matched services to demand and over 90% of trains on time since September 2005. We expect the new franchise holder to build on these achievements.

"This consultation is important in ensuring that the new South Western franchise has rail services in place that will meet future needs and provide good services for passengers."

Notes to Editors

The consultation document is available on the dft website at http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_railways/documents/divisionhomepage/610272.hcsp. Further documents relating to the South Western Franchise are available at
http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_railways/documents/divisionhomepage/041292.hcsp

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk



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