House is updating that the Department of Transportation has negotiated additional direct awards for the Cross Country rail franchise.
We are pleased to inform the House that the government has entered into a new contract with Arriva to ensure that important train services continue on the UK’s widest rail network. Stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance and from Stansted Airport to Cardiff, the CrossCountrys network is the UK’s most extensive passenger rail franchise geographically. Calls from more than 100 stations and connects 7 out of 10 UK metropolitan areas.
The new agreement means Arriva CrossCountry, which has been operating the service since 2007, will continue to run the franchise for three years through October 2023. This provides stability to the CrossCountry service and provides certainty to passengers and staff as the future direction of railroad reform is taken. shape.
An important long-distance rail service that people across the UK rely on will continue to operate and support Britain’s recovery from COVID-19 thanks to this new contract. As people return to the railroad, passengers will benefit from more capacity and operational staff, with new measures to help passengers with disabilities consistent with current best practices across the rail industry.
The agreement also refocuses on addressing environmental impacts. To reduce diesel emissions, Arriva CrossCountry will use electric shore supplies when Turbostars are in the warehouse for cleaning and will test battery usage on the train when Voyager enters the drop-off point. We will continue to work with the owners of Voyager to get the engine off on the platform.
This new agreement complements the Emergency Recovery Action Agreement (ERMA) announced in September, and the government pays a small administrative fee to the train companies to maintain the service that is struggling with the epidemic.
This agreement will see the government taking the revenue and cost risks associated with the franchise and paying Arriva a performance related fee for the operation of the service, providing incentives for the company to improve its operational performance, passenger experience and quality of service.
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