Posted 18th June 2010 | 8 Comments
Franchise replacements put on hold by DfT
The Essex Thameside franchise was originally let as LTS, and is currently branded c2c
THE replacement process for the two remaining National Express franchises has been put on hold by the DfT.
Following a statement by transport minister Theresa Villiers, it also seems likely that East Coast is set to stay in public control for longer than previously announced.
In a statemen to the Commons, Ms Villiers said: " The Department for Transport will shortly begin a consultation exercise on the future of rail franchising policy. This consultation will provide industry partners with the opportunity to comment on the Government’s approach to rail franchising and whether bidders for longer franchises would be able to offer investment in improvements to trains and services.
"It will also allow the industry to set out its proposals for improving the efficiency and value for money of rail franchises, for both taxpayers and fare payers. I will set out further details to the House in due course.
"To enable the next Greater Anglia and Essex Thameside franchises - which are currently in the process of being re-let - to fully reflect the changes resulting from this review of policy the competitions for these franchises, which were started in January, are to be cancelled.
"It is currently expected that a new competition for Greater Anglia will be advertised by the end of the year, after the consultation responses have been considered, with the Essex Thameside franchise following in Autumn 2011."
Ms Villiers also indicated that the timetable for reletting East Coast, which passed into public control in November, is to be extended as well, but she gave no clue about when this former National Express contract might now be offered to the market. Transfer back to the private sector had been due to take place in November next year.
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