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Campaigners respond to Thameslink rail franchise announcement

23 May 2014
Campaign for Better Transport has responded to the announcement that a new Thameslink rail franchise has been awarded to Govia Thameslink Railway Limited.

Martin Abrams, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said

"After the West Coast fiasco, passengers will be looking to the Thameslink deal for signs that they'll get better services for their money, not just a maximising of cash going to the Treasury."

Martin Abrams continued

"The Thameslink announcement has some encouraging elements, and Government now needs to ensure good ideas and investment are on-going and form part of all future franchises. For instance, passengers will be looking for initiatives like smarter ticketing, so the millions of part-time workers can get the same season ticket savings as those who work full-time. They also want to see Government bringing a permanent end to inflation-busting fares rises which are due again in the New Year."

Notes

1.Full details for the franchise announcement are available on the Department for Transport website.

Main features of the franchise include:

  • The Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise replaces the existing Thameslink, Great Northern, and the South Central franchise.
  • Key challenge will be operating full services while the £6.5bn Thameslink investment programme is delivered
  • New tunnels will allow services from Brighton and Gatwick Airport through to Peterborough and Cambridge via central London.
  • By the end of 2018, there will also be an Increase in capacity of 50 per cent during the peak rush-hour
  • Investment in better station facilities, free wi-fi and improved staffing levels are also part of the argreement

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