New operator sought for Greater Anglia rail services

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The Government has set out the level of service it expects from companies bidding to run rail services in Greater Anglia, following today’s publication of the invitation to tender document for the short 17-month franchise.

The new operator will take over from February 2012 and would be responsible for delivering services to destinations from London and across Greater Anglia – including Great Yarmouth, Kings Lynn, Southend, Ipswich and Cambridge – until at least July 2013.

Three firms – Abellio Greater Anglia, Eastern Railway and Stagecoach Anglia Trains – have been shortlisted for the Greater Anglia franchise, which is currently run by National Express East Anglia.

As one of the rail franchises serving Stratford and the Olympic stadium the new operator will be responsible for introducing longer and more frequent trains during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Government has set out the following objectives for the franchise in the invitation to tender:

  • Delivering a quality of service for passengers for the entire rail journey.
  • Working with the Department and other stakeholders to ensure value for money.
  • Managing and delivering changes required to accommodate Crossrail.
  • Working effectively with Network Rail to maintain performance.
  • Delivering longer and more frequent services to support the London 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Controlling operational costs and maximising revenue.

As part of the bidding process each of the bidders will also need to set out how they intend to improve passenger satisfaction in the service they would provide.

The Government plans to reform rail franchising and to lengthen rail franchises to around 15 years.

This shorter franchise will allow time for reforms identified by Sir Roy McNulty’s review of the rail industry’s value for money to be properly considered and built into the terms of the subsequent Greater Anglia franchise.

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