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Author Topic: Commons written reply on franchise extension ..  (Read 1759 times)
grahame
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« on: July 24, 2019, 01:50:22 pm »

Dated 22nd July, from Rail Magazine

Quote
Discussions are under way with FirstGroup regarding a franchise extension for Great Western Railway, Rail Minister Andrew Jones said in a Commons Written Reply on July 22.

Responding to a question from George Eustice (Conservative, Camborne and Redruth), Jones said: “The current Great Western franchise agreement expires at 0159 on April 1 2020, having been extended to the fullest extent possible under its terms.

“In November 2017 the Secretary of State announced his intention to negotiate a new franchise agreement with the incumbent operator, and discussions with FirstGroup are already under way.”

Zero surprise, with Andrew Jones confirming what we know.   Me thinks GWR really need to know fairly soon what / if they'll be providing in just under 8 months ... under "DA3".   And, yes, many ideas have been put forward ...
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 04:44:30 pm by grahame » Logged

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bignosemac
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2019, 02:26:18 pm »

What is franchising for?
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2019, 07:31:56 am »

What is franchising for?

It has been pointed out that the time that franchising was introduced was also the time at which passengers numbers started their dramatic rise.  Personally, though, I don't understand how / how much there is a correlation between the two changes - whether passenger numbers would have risen anyway has franchising not been introduced.

I have been rebuked for my earlier comment about GWR/First needing to know soon what they'll be providing.   Yes, of course there has been a whole lot of discussion and ideas and one hopes that at this stage there's little that would come as a complete shock.  I wonder what happens on the pension stuff that's caused such a storm on other bids.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 04:24:01 pm »

Me thinks GWR really need to know fairly soon what / if they'll be providing in just under 8 months ... under "DA3".   And, yes, many ideas have been put forward ...

Here we are in November 2019 ... just four and a half months to go in the current operating agreement, and no announcement about what the First group will be doing in "GWR"land from 1st April 2020. 

A two or four year management contract would seem - my reading of the tealeaves - "probable". But what will it include?  Will it be for a continuation of services as they are today for a further 24 or 48 months?  Will there be a token enhancement such as there was on Cross Country with (I think I have this right) one extra 4 carriage train? Or will some of the long sought, long researched, much needed service enhancements across services other than those which run to or from the magic station of Paddington, or in the far South West, be included?

GWR's future service and timetable planners must, surely, be looking at future services and timetable changes for May 2020 and December 2020 by now, with December 2019 moved on from their desks into the operational planning departments.  So - what could we be looking forward to in changes next year?
* Severn Beach services up to every 30 minutes
* Hourly or better service from Lawrence Hill and Stapleton Road to Bristol Parkway
* Extending Bristol Parkway (or Filton Abbey Wood!) terminators to Yate
* Joining Swindon - Westbury, Westbury - Warminster and Salisbury - Romsey to a single service
* Extending the Bristol - Westbury service routinely each hour to Frome and Yeovil
* Improved calling pattern for Ivybridge

Quick calculation - I believe that I have added 2 diagrams (perhaps 3 depending on how certain things are done), and I have saved one.  On of the diagrams is on "the Beach" until the trains from there run on beyond Temple Meads.

Outside DA3 (different operator) but within our area ...
*Additional calls on Exeter to Manchester services at Bridgwater and at Worcestershire Parkway

What have I overlooked?
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 04:37:35 pm »

That GWR TOC have been tasked by the Govt/ DfT to reintroduce a regular service to
Okehampton 'as soon as practicable'.
'Commercial Confidentiality' increasingly seems to be the excuse little progress is publicly advised; despite West Devon and particularly North Cornwall being marginal seats.
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 05:58:25 pm »

DfT's previously announced intention was to open discussions with GWR about a two-year continuation. Assuming that is happening, so that GWR know what to plan for, but a few contract details are still not agreed, I imagine that state can be allowed to persist for some time before an announcement is absolutely essential.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2019, 02:22:15 pm »

What have I overlooked?

Purdah?
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