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Railways: Franchises

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has agreed Transport for London’s Metro Standards for the Southern Franchise; and whether he has had (a) representations from and (b) discussions with bidders for the Southern franchise on deferral of the bidding deadline. (256020)

The Department for Transport worked closely with Transport for London in the development of the South Central franchise. The Government franchise specification has a number of service and staffing enhancements that will deliver significant improvements in the London area.

Alongside this, Transport for. London is funding a number of additional incremental enhancements that will bring the franchise specification nearer to the Metro standard aspired to by Transport for London.

The Department’s discussions with bidders during the bid preparation phase have not included consideration of an extension to this stage of the procurement process, and we have received no representations to this effect.