On 14 March, the Department for Transport (DfT) launched a consultation on the South Eastern Rail Franchise. The consultation deadline is 30 June 2017. The consultation can be accessed via https://www.gov.uk/government/news/south-eastern-franchise-consultation-launched. The DfT’s ambitions for this franchise include:
- creating more space for passengers by running longer trains and upgrading or replacing older trains
- increasing reliability and reducing delays by the train operator working closely with Network Rail
- improving compensations arrangements with a simple automated system
- introduction of a smarter payment system, including mobile phones
- improving customer service with staff able to respond quickly and effectively to passenger’s needs
We understand that this will be the first franchise to have an integrated operating team between train services and infrastructure. The new operator must form an alliance with Network Rail.