Cautious welcome to new rail franchising model

David Evennett and Chris Grayling

Yesterday (29 November), the Department for Transport announced plans to boost capacity and introduce improved, longer and more comfortable trains as part of the new South Eastern rail franchise agreement. The network would also see a single director responsible for a joint team from the new operator and Network Rail, who will be accountable for the performance of the network. There are now three bidders for the franchise, who will have to display how they will deliver extra service and more space for rail users.

Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has cautiously welcomed the DfT’s announcements, and commented: “The Secretary of State has listened to the concerns express by Bexley residents in the recent rail franchise consultation. South Eastern have persistently failed Bexley rail users and I am hopeful that we will see the improvements passengers deserve in the new franchise agreement.”

“I am particularly pleased that we will see longer trains and more frequent services to central London, as well as greater connectivity and better compensation for when things do go wrong”.