asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the specifications issued to builders for the start of the Great Western franchise meet the demand anticipated at the first timetable change; and, if so, why the timetable has been augmented at short notice. [HL1874]
In its invitation to tender for the Great Western franchise, the former Strategic Rail Authority specified a minimum train service pattern. Bidders were required to form their own views of existing and future demand, and to respond with proposals, including rolling-stock deployment, to meet this demand. Since the revised timetable was introduced in December 2006, First Great Western (FGW) has added three services; adjustments of this scale are routine at a time of major timetable change.