Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The new franchise, which starts on 20 September this year, requires the new operator to introduce longer suburban trains at peak times and more trains on key lines during evenings and weekends. Passengers will also be able to travel more safely on the network thanks to a significant increase in the number of stations staffed at night and the introduction of CCTV on all trains.
Andrew Adonis said:
"This new franchise provides more regular trains, more services at busy times and more station and train security for passengers across London and the South East. It will greatly improve the quality of service and give passengers better value for money.
"We have worked closely with rail user groups such as Passenger Focus to ensure that this new franchise works for passengers. We have had four candidates entering bids for the franchise, showing that there is still a strong level of interest from private firms in running rail services."
Key train service enhancements will include:
- Longer suburban services made up of ten car trains, with delivery starting in 2011 and being completed by 2013.
- Four trains per hour on most routes in South London until around 2300 Monday to Saturday and new late night services in South London on Friday and Saturday nights with most routes running trains until 0030
- Additional services in South London on Sundays with four trains per hour on most routes.
- A new hourly Brighton to Southampton service on Sundays and additional late night services from Brighton to Worthing.
- Later services on the London to Uckfield route.
- A new service to Southampton Airport and an additional Gatwick Express service from Brighton at peak times.
Under the new franchise agreement, all stations and trains on the South Central network will be fitted with CCTV by June 2011 and all stations across the franchise will be required to maintain or increase the presence of customer-facing staff, leading to a safer and improved passenger-friendly experience.
In addition, new ticket gates will be installed at 22 stations (on top of the 14 South London stations being gated prior to the franchise commencement) and almost all South London stations will be staffed from the first to last service of the day.
The franchise will also deliver at least 1,000 extra car parking spaces and 1,500 additional secure bicycle spaces. Every station across the network will be cleaned and refreshed, while there will also be enhancements to 34 stations in the region, including major refurbishments at Brighton, Haywards Heath, Hove, Lewes, Redhill, Three Bridges and Worthing.
In addition, the Government has required the operator to set targets for passenger satisfaction and provide additional investment if these targets are not achieved.