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Stagecoach win South West Trains franchise bid
| Stagecoach Group on 22 September 2006 welcomed the decision by the
Department for Transport to award it the new South Western rail franchise.
The new 10-year franchise, which is worth more than £530million in annual revenues, will run from 4 February 2007.
the new South Western franchise combines the existing South West Trains and Island Line franchises, both of which are currently operated by the Group.
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Brian Souter said: We are delighted to be entrusted by the Government with the contract to run the UKs most important rail franchise. We submitted a high-quality, innovative and value-for-money bid, and the new franchise is an excellent result for passengers, taxpayers and our shareholders. It reflects the significant contribution from local stakeholders and is also recognition of the hard work, commitment and expertise of all of our people. We look forward to building on the success we have achieved over the past decade by delivering a comprehensive package of train, station and security investment, further improved performance, increased capacity, state-of-the-art ticketing options and a range of other customer benefits. We believe there is a huge opportunity to attract new passengers to rail travel and improve services for existing customers, and our exciting ideas for the franchise will unlock the full potential of the network. South Western is the most complex franchise anywhere on the UK rail network. Stagecoach has an unrivalled mix of experience and energy that will ensure we meet todays challenges better than any other operator and we are ready to deliver.
The new franchise incorporates a multi-million-pound investment programme and will generate £1,191million (Net Present Value) in premium payments to the DfT over the 10-year period.
The Group expects the new franchise to deliver good value for shareholders and to generate annual operating profit (profit before finance income/charges, amortisation of intangible assets and taxation) in the early years of the franchise of £15m to £20m, as well as annual finance income of £3m to £4m.
The key highlights of the new franchise developed following extensive consultation with more than 100 local, regional and national stakeholder groups include:
Significant increase in capacity, with 21% more mainline peak seats and a 20% increase in peak suburban seating.
Deployment of 17 additional Class 450 units ordered by DfT, as well as a rolling stock refurbishment programme, to deliver extra capacity.
Maximum length trains on almost all peak services.
Additional morning peak service from Basingstoke to Waterloo.
Plans to introduce 10-car trains on Windsor to Waterloo services in 2010.
More visible staff presence to improve personal security.
Every mainland station linked by CCTV to a central monitoring point, and the installation of CCTV on every mainland train.
Retention of guards on every train.
Provision of personal alarms to all guards and on-train revenue protection staff to deter assaults.
Additional plain clothes British Transport Police officers on the network.
Creation of Travel Safe Alliance in the London metro area to share information and best practice.
More effective deployment of TravelSafe Officers and security guards that better match the current pattern of railway crimes/incidents.
Accreditation of 13 additional secure stations giving a total of 62 secure stations, covering 80% of footfall, with an option to increase this to cover 95% of footfall.
Accreditation of 25 secure station car parks.
£19m investment in Smartcard technology to make ticket purchasing much easier.
Promotion of internet purchasing and telesales.
Extension of Stagecoachs budget rail service megatrain.com.
Flexible ticket options, with different prices depending on the time of travel.
Installation of a further 160 self-service ticket vending machines to reduce ticket office queues.
Introduction of automatic gates at 13 additional stations to improve security and reduce ticketless travel.
Major station refurbishment at 14 large stations.
Investment of around £40m in core station improvements, including better subways, lighting waiting rooms, booking halls, toilets, shelters and seats.
Lighting, painting and cleaning improvements at all 185 stations.
New passenger charter with clear targets and simplified compensation structure.
Better customer information with passenger information systems extended to cover every train on the mainland network and most Island Line stations.
Provision of an additional 2000 car parking spaces across the network.
A commitment to further improve performance through modifications to trains, as well as improved management of stations, to ease congestion and speed up train boarding/alighting.
A line speed and signalling enhancement on the main suburban network to save running time.
Investment to ensure the continued viability of the existing Island Line rolling stock and infrastructure.
We will roll out many of the initiatives proposed for the mainland part of the business, including smart cards. However, we will also maintain the important local focus of the service, making the Island-based General Manager responsible for all Island Line matters.
We will work with DfT to place Island Line on a firm footing as a Community Rail Partnership.
|Last Updated: 22 September 2006|
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