East Anglian trains delay
TRAIN companies are now facing a delay with which their passengers are all too familiar.Passengers and rail bosses waiting to find out who will be running trains in East Anglia from next spring were today told the decision has been delayed.
TRAIN companies are now facing a delay with which their passengers are all too familiar.
Passengers and rail bosses waiting to find out who will be running trains in East Anglia from next spring were today told the decision has been delayed.
Three companies are in the running to take on the Greater Anglia franchise -GB Railways, National Express, and Arriva.
Most observers see the contest as a two-horse race between GB Railways – which currently operates the Anglia franchise and is now owned by First Group – and National Express, which runs the West Anglia franchise between Cambridge and London.
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The Strategic Rail Authority had always promised that a decision on the franchise would be made before the end of this year.
But now that seems unlikely because it has been caught up in Whitehall bureaucracy.
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The Star understands that the SRA has made its decision on who should run the trains, but this has to be ratified by the Department of Transport and the Treasury.
Civil servants in these departments still haven't given the SRA the go-ahead to announce the winning bid.
Now rail officials accept that the final decision isn't likely to be announced until early January.
But this delay should not delay the start date of the new franchise – which is due to come into operation at the start of April next year.
Anglia goes into the final stages of the decision making process as the most reliable intercity service in Britain.
Figures released this week showed the London to Norwich service topped the charts – but only because its on-time trains fell by less than its rivals.