Also visit: mashmedia.net | c-mw.net | exhibitionnews.co.uk | exhibitionworld.co.uk
Search

Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline franchise bid

Share
article:
Share on LinkedIn Email Print View
Richard Branson Virgin Trains has lost its bid to continue running the West Coast Mainline franchise.
 
The new contract, which starts on 9 December 2012 and runs through to 31 March 2026, will be run by the UK’s largest rail operator, FirstGroup, which says it will offer “substantial improvements in the quality and frequency of services”.
 
The West Coast Mainline route serves 31m passengers travelling between London, the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and the central belt of Scotland.
 
Virgin Group’s Founder, Sir Richard Branson, said the company’s loss of the franchise was “very disappointing news”.
 
“Over the last 15 years Virgin’s staff have worked hard to transform this railway. We submitted a strong and deliverable bid based on improving customers’ experience, increased investment and sustained innovation. To have bid more would have involved dramatic cuts to customer quality and considerable fare rises which we were unwilling to entertain,” said Branson.
 
“We also did not want to risk letting everybody down with almost certain bankruptcy at some time during the franchise as happened to GNER and National Express who overbid on the East Coast mainline. Sadly the Government has chosen to take that risk with First Group and we only hope they will continue to drive dramatic improvements on this line for years to come without letting everybody down,” he added.
 
FirstGroup says it will introduce 11 new 125mph six-car electric trains on the Birmingham-to-Glasgow route and provide more direct services between destinations.
 
Additional Pendolino tilting trains currently being introduced by Virgin will deliver more than 28,000 seats a day.
 
The Government says FirstGroup’s new trains should add a further 12,000 seats a day on West Coast routes from 2016.
 
FirstGroup’s Chief Executive Tim O’Toole said it was a good deal for the company and the public.
 
"Our bid also delivers value for taxpayers by returning premiums to the government underpinned by sustainable growth in passenger numbers and revenues from the utilisation of significant available capacity," he said.
 
Do you have a news story for CN? Email: vcarley@mashmedia.net

15 Aug 12

ExecSpace recruits ex-Zibrant manager to drive London business
UK venue finding and event services company, ExecSpace, has appointed former Zibrant employee James Goulder (pictured) as its Accounts Director in London. Goulder was... ...read more
Event safety training online emphasis for time poor professionals
The implications of not taking risk and safety seriously can become a big concern for organisers and meeting planners, which is one reason why Sheffield Hallam University... ...read more
Merlin backs campaign for cut in tourism VAT
Merlin Entertainments, owners of Legoland, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle, among other attractions, has joined growing calls to cut tax on tourism.... ...read more
ACC Liverpool all set for annual London showcase
ACC Liverpool, along with the rest of Team Liverpool, are getting ready to welcome around 100 key contacts in the association, corporate and exhibition sectors, as well... ...read more
Ex-VNU MD Bucknor to spearhead commercial development at Mash Media
Brin Bucknor has taken up the new role of Commercial Director at Mash Media, as the events industry publisher (and publisher of CN) continues its rapid... ...read more

News Archive
Partners & Associations
I.C.C.A
Conference Centres of Excellence
Meetings Industry Association
VENUEmasters
International Confex
Conference and Meetings World
Conference News - Online
Conference News Supplement - Online
Mash Media
Home | News | Features | Blogs | Events Diary | Recruitment | Directory | Subscribe | Print Magazines | Contact Us
© 2008 - 2014 Mash Media Group