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Railways: Greater Western Franchise

Volume 670: debated on Thursday 10 March 2005

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Why the Strategic Rail Authority decided not to include in its franchise specification for the proposed integrated Great Western service an hourly service between Worcester, Oxford and London; what were the economic reasons for this decision; and what were the operational risks, given that First Great Western's bid for Thames Trains offered to take this risk; and [HL1604]Whether the proposed integrated Great Western franchise takes into account the possibility that Crossrail may be given exclusive use of the slow lines from Maidenhead to Paddington (as provided for in the Crossrail Bill) so that intercity, local and freight services will need to share the fast lines; and what the additional journey times will be between Reading and Paddington for intercity trains in these circumstances. [HL1605]

The specification for the Greater Western franchise has not yet been finalised. It is planned to issue the invitation to tender for the franchise in the summer.