First Group prepares rail franchise bids
Thursday 22 December 2011
The Government has fired the starting gun on its £2bn train-franchising programme, asking operators to bid to run the Thameslink, Great Western and Essex Thameside routes for up to 15 years.
The Thameslink contract from Bedford to Luton via St Pancras is at present operated by FirstGroup, bringing in ticket sales of £1bn last year. The new contract – lasting only seven years because of upgrades on the line – will gradually take over some services now run by Go-Ahead.
The Great Western route from Paddington to Penzance is also run by First Group and last year brought in revenues of £679m. The new franchise will run for 15 years, with the contract starting in April 2013. The Essex Thameside line, known as c2c and run by National Express, which recorded sales of £118m last year, will also be a 15-year contract.
First Group was bullish about winning its contracts again. A spokesman said: "We have unrivalled expertise [and] look forward to building on our market-leading position in UK railways. We intend to bid for the Great Western and Thameslink franchises as well as progress new opportunities as the DfT's franchising programme gets under way."
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
General Election 2015: Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind as he casts a line to the disaffected of Grimsby
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...