Stephen Byers. They will also liaise with local transport
authorities in the North of England on the franchise.
of frequent, fast, high quality train services between major towns
and cities in the north of England. It would include investment in
new trains - increasing resilience, and improving performance and
reliability - and improvements to stations, including to customer
information systems and access.
The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has been charged with drawing up
the detailed requirement for a new TransPennine rail franchise and
will now liaise with the five Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs)
which deliver local transport services in the areas it covers.
Commenting on the new franchise Stephen Byers said:
'There is clearly potential to develop a new TransPennine franchise
that will deliver real benefits to passengers in the north of
England. I am looking to the SRA to identify passengers' requirements
for this new franchise, working closely with the PTEs which are
responsible for many local services in the region, and with other
local and regional stakeholders.
'The M62 corridor has particular congestion problems and few public
transport alternatives - the government's£180bn 10 Year
Transport Plan is about tackling these issues and providing modern,
sustainable transport alternatives and giving the public more choice
on how they travel. A new TransPennine Express franchise could
deliver such benefits.
The franchise would serve the major regional centres - Manchester,
Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Hull - but I hope that the SRA will
be able to negotiate with bidders a basis for providing additional
benefits more widely across the region. I will be considering the
SRA's proposals for the other local services in the region within the
next few months. Our joint aim will be to ensure that as a result of
the refranchising process those services also benefit from additional
investment and commitment.'
1. The secretary of state is giving a direction under section 26 of
the Railways Act 1993 to allow the SRA to proceed to the next stage
of awarding a TransPennine franchise. Such a direction triggers the
rights of PTEs to specify services in accordance with section 34 of
the 1993 Act.
2. The secretary of state has invited the SRA, in the light of the
results of this process, to develop a baseline specification for the
franchise which establishes a minimum package of services, standards
and investment, including the provision of some new rolling stock.
He expects it to invite revised final bids from the three bidders
shortlisted for the franchise - Arriva plc, Connex Transport UK Ltd
and First Group/Keolis SA (formerly Via GTI) - against this
specification. The SRA may also identify potential enhancements to
this baseline proposal that can be implemented, in due course, if
they prove to represent value for money and to be affordable.