Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Transport: Govia beats FirstGroup to win Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern rail franchise

12:16 23 May 2014

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond at Kings Cross Station.

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond at Kings Cross Station.

The biggest new rail franchise ever awarded, which will include parts of the East of England, has been won by Go-Ahead Group company Govia, with rival FirstGroup missing out.

shares

The new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise will replace the existing Thameslink and Great Northern franchise, currently operated by FirstGroup as First Capital Connect, from September this year.

It will also include the South Central franchise, currently operated by Govia as Southern and Gatwick Express, when it expires in July 2015, with a small number of services and stations also transferring from the South Eastern franchise, also opeted by Govia, from December this year.

The seven-year deal will cover services currently carrying 273million passengers a year and linking locations including Cambridge, King’s Lynn, Peterborough, Bedford and Luton to destinations such as Brighton and Gatwick Airport, as well as providing links to the high speed Channel Tunnel line at St Pancras and to the new Crossrail service at Farringdon.

The franchise will also see the introduction of 1,140 new carriages on the Thameslink network and 108 new carriages for the Gatwick Express route.

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said today: “A world class railway is a vital part of our long-term economic plan.

“New state-of-the-art trains, more seats, better connections and improved stations will transform travel across London and the South East. That’s great news for businesses and the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use these vital services every day.”

David Brown, group chief executive of the Go-Ahead Group said: “This award is testimony to the experience of our people of working in partnership with the DfT, Network Rail and other industry stakeholders and in delivering major integration projects and change programmes.

“Our bid for the franchise was focused on improving customers’ experience and includes two new train fleets for Gatwick Express and Moorgate services, in addition to overseeing the introduction of the Thameslink trains already ordered, as well as delivering improvements at stations.

“I’m looking forward to working with existing colleagues and welcoming new staff and together delivering this transformational franchise.”

Tim O’Toole, FirstGroup’s chief executive, said: “I am disappointed that we will not be operating the new franchise and taking the Thameslink programme on to its next stage.

“We submitted a strong bid which would have delivered high quality services for passengers, value for taxpayers and an economic return for shareholders.

“We are tremendously proud to have operated a significant part of this network over the past eight years through our First Capital Connect franchise, and of the many improvements we have delivered during that time.

“I would like to thank all of our employees who worked tirelessly to deliver improved services for our customers during a period of great change on the network.”

Martin Abrams, public transport campaigner for the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “After the West Coast franchising fiasco, passengers will be looking to the Thameslink deal for signs that they’ll get better services for their money, not just a maximising of cash going to the Treasury.

“The Thameslink announcement has some encouraging elements, and the Government now needs to ensure good ideas and investment are ongoing and form part of all future franchises. For instance, passengers will be looking for initiatives like smarter ticketing, so the millions of part-time workers can get the same season ticket savings as those who work full-time.

“They also want to see Government bringing a permanent end to inflation-busting fares rises which are due again in the new year.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Police are investigating the accident

A young boy has been taken to hospital after he was clipped by a car in Bildeston, near Stowmarket, this afternoon.

Wooded area behind Oulton Road, Ipswich where local residents fear that trees are due for felling.

Ipswich Borough Council has allayed fears over plans to fell trees, after Ipswich homeowners voiced concerns over the effects on nesting birds.

Inspector Julian Ditcham with the Drager Alcotest used by Suffolk Constabulary tests a motorist.

A free extra pint has led to a shipping industry senior operations co-ordinator losing his driving licence.

The hunt is on for Britain's best beach hut - and these huts at Southwold could harbour a winner. PHOTO: Warren Page/ Anglia Press Agency

Nominations have opened for a competition to find Britain’s favourite beach hut.

The UK's first-ever dedicated congenital heart research centre opens at University Campus Suffolk. Raquel Mendes and David Ling at work.

A dedicated congenital heart research centre – the first of its kind in the UK – officially opened at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) in Ipswich today.

Theres not long left to sign up to be part of Suffolks biggest neon party on Saturday, May 7.
.
L-R Sam Catling,Tracy New, Pauline Donkin, Brian Taylor, Jack Nicholl, Joanne Rodger, Nikki Brown, Catherine Sheppard.

There are just days left to sign up to be part of Suffolk’s biggest neon party this weekend.

The Iron Throne featured in the Game of Thrones series, which is coming to Ipswich this month

Pretenders to the Iron Throne will have the opportunity to stake their claim as ruler of Westeros this month as the iconic seat used in the hit TV show Game of Thrones will be coming exclusively to Ipswich.

Drink-drivers in court

An Ipswich drink-driver who carried out an ‘idiotic doughnut’ while police officers watched has been banned from the road.

Fishing at Waldegraves.

Read some of our top picks for a relaxing spot of fishing in East Anglia.

Sports editor Mark Heath getting some wrestling and grappling lessons from wrestling and MMA coach Graham Yates.

Picture: ANTONY KELLY

I’m not sure if it’s called a ‘calf-slicer’ or a ‘calf-crusher’, writes Mark Heath. But I know this – it bloody hurts.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24