News Releases

South Western rail franchise

27 Mar 2017

Stagecoach Group is disappointed that it has been unsuccessful in its bid for the new South Western rail franchise, which is due to commence in summer 2017. 

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: "We are proud to have operated the network under the South West Trains brand for more than 20 years and we are disappointed that we have been unsuccessful in our bid for the new franchise. 

"Over the past two decades, we have delivered real improvements for our customers right across the network. That success has been built on fantastic people, detailed knowledge of the business and strong relationships with our stakeholders and railway partners. But we have never thought our job was finished." 

"We believe we submitted a strong bid for the new South Western franchise. It offered a transformation in the travel experience for our customers, more investment to help the railway support the communities and economy of the south-west, as well as a substantial and deliverable financial benefit to taxpayers to help fund better public services."

"We will be seeking detailed feedback from the Department for Transport on the various elements of our bid."

"I would like to thank all of our employees and partners who have been involved in delivering our vision for the railway in the south-west over the past two decades as well as those who contributed to our strong bid for the new franchise. I know they share our disappointment in the result. Nevertheless, we will continue to work hard on our part to deliver a professional service and meet our obligations in the final months of our current franchise."

ENDS

About South West Trains 

Stagecoach Group has operated the South Western network under the South West Trains brand for more than 20 years, delivering extensive improvements for customers, including 

  • Doubling the number of passengers travelling on the network from 108million in 1996 to more than 230million today 
  • Adding more than 400 extra train carriages and more than 45,000 more train services a year compared to 20 years ago 
  • Replacing old ‘slam door’ rolling stock with a £1billion fleet of modern, safer and more comfortable trains, with a further £210million fleet of new trains to come in 2017 
  • Pioneering better integration of train and track in partnership with Network Rail to provide better journeys for customers, including at times of disruption 
  • Driving plans which will deliver a 30% increase in train capacity at the busiest times of the day by 2018 - with further capacity improvements to come 
  • Helping deliver the successful Isle of Wight Rail Partnership (CRP) to create a sustainable and reliable rail network for communities on the island 
  • Investing in our depots and maintenance facilities to deliver amongst the most reliable trains in the country 
  • Providing better information for customers, including an industry leading social media presence with 240,000 followers, as well as more real time information at stations 
  • Investing in new digital tools for our customers, including an improved website and mobile app, as well as free on-train WiFi 
  • Introducing new customer ambassadors at stations, hundreds of new ticket machines and a real time video facility linked to a dedicated 24/7 customer contact centre. 
  • Investing in our people, providing better training and opportunities for career development 
  • Multi-million-pound improvements at stations, with an ongoing programme to deliver more fully accessible stations 
  • Building new car parks and introducing thousands of extra spaces to accommodate growth on the network 
  • Creating thousands of extra spaces for bicycles at stations to promote more sustainable travel options 
  • Regularly engaging with our customers and stakeholders through a programme of webchats, passenger forums and opportunities to meet directly with our management team 
  • Achieving amongst the best levels of customer satisfaction in London and the South East on one of the most complex and challenging networks 

Contact

Emma Knight
emma.knight@stagecoachgroup.com
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Stagecoach Group

  • Stagecoach Group is an international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, the United States and Canada. The Group employs around 39,000 people, and operates around 13,000 buses, coaches, trains and trams.
  • Stagecoach is one of the UK's biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,500 buses and coaches on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Low-cost coach service, megabus.com, operates a network of inter-city services across the UK and mainland Europe.
  • Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has also partnered with Virgin to run the East Coast and West Coast inter-city rail franchises.
  • Stagecoach operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.
  • In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,400 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. megabus.com links around 130 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter, transit, contracted, charter, airport shuttle and sightseeing services.