Greater Anglia to run Shenfield Line for two more years
- Credit: Archant
by Rachel Cranshaw
Greater Anglia will be running the Liverpool Street to Shenfield rail line for two more years than originally expected.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced a franchising programme on Tuesday that will see the replacement of Greater Anglia put back by 27 months.
The operator’s franchise was due to expire in July 2014 but has now been extended until October 2016.
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Prior to the extension, Transport for London (TfL) had been seeking an operator to take over the running of the existing line.
This would have included the first Crossrail trains. The next operator will now be taking over after the service is launched.
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The full Crossrail route is expected to be in service by 2019.
Twelve out of 15 franchises were extended in total.
Mr McLoughlin put this down to the Brown review, which recommended a staggered approach to franchising development instead of a previous clustered programme.
He added that, during the extension period, “the Department for Transport will look to negotiate further passenger benefits, which will ensure the best deal for taxpayers”.
A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “We welcome the announcement on rail franchising.
“Though it is too early to comment on the implications, we are now engaged in discussions with the Department for Transport over opportunities to improve services as part of the franchise extension programme.
“In the meantime, we will continue to concentrate all our efforts in delivering further improvements for our customers through the existing Greater Anglia franchise.”
Greater Anglia, which is currently in the second year of its franchise, operates 1,900 trains a day and carries two million passengers a week.
The Dutch-owned firm was recently ranked the country’s second worst in a passenger survey but also named Train Operator of the Year at an awards ceremony. It was given the accolade at the Rail Business Awards, despite receiving just 42 per cent customer satisfaction in a survey by consumer magazine Which?