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Railways: Great North Eastern Franchise

Volume 689: debated on Tuesday 20 February 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the timetable specification for the bidders for the Great North Eastern Railway franchise will include the same train services as that in operation in May 2007. [HL1977]

The service specification for the new InterCity East Coast franchise will include the same services as that in operation from the May 2007 timetable. This represents the current (December 2006) timetable with the addition of a regular Leeds half-hourly service.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the specification issued for the Great North Eastern Railway franchise will cater for demand expected during the whole period of the franchise. [HL1978]

One of the four principal objectives for this franchise is “to seek to accommodate current and anticipated future growth in passenger demand”.

This objective is stated in the consultation document for the InterCity East Coast franchise replacement, and is available in the House of Commons Library and on the Department for Transport website. Bidders will be required to address this and other franchise objectives when submitting their bids.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether those bidding for the new Great North Eastern Railway franchise will be required to include proposals to alleviate capacity problems at peak hours between London and the North. [HL1979]

One of the four principal objectives for this franchise is “to seek to accommodate current and anticipated future growth in passenger demand”. This objective is stated in the consultation document for the InterCity East Coast franchise replacement, and is available in the House of Commons Library and on the Department for Transport website. Bidders will be required to address this and other franchise objectives when submitting their bids.

Providing sufficient capacity at peak times will be a significant challenge for bidders, and they will be directed to the ongoing work of Network Rail's east coast main line route utilisation strategy (RUS) that is specifically addressing this issue. They will also be required to co-operate with the emerging recommendations from the RUS during the course of the franchise.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the operators of the new Great North Eastern Railway franchise will be committed to co-operate within Network Rail in evaluating the electrification of the 15 miles of track in the Leeds area which would improve journey times between Leeds and London. [HL1980]

Bidders will be advised of the proposed electrification scheme at Hambleton between the east coast main line and westwards towards Leeds via Micklefield. They will be required to co-operate with Network Rail to determine the feasibility of such a scheme.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the operators of the new Great North Eastern Railway franchise will be committed to provide a similar level of on-board service as that provided at present. [HL1981]

Bidders for the new InterCity East Coast franchise will be required to provide a high quality service at stations and on trains. It will be for the bidders to determine the appropriate catering service offered on-board that meets the needs of passengers.