asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 20 February (WA 235), whether they will accept bids from new operators offering lower standards of on-board service than those currently offered by the Great North Eastern Railway. [HL2178]
The Department for Transport will review the bids submitted from the four pre-qualified bidders with respect to the level of on-board service. Bidders are entitled to propose the level of on-board service that they consider appropriate, and this will form part of their overall bid. The department believes that the market is best placed to determine this aspect of the InterCity East Coast business. The Department for Transport did not specify the standard of on-board services for the last franchise and has not done so for the new franchise.