Refranchising of Northern and TransPennine Express

The six bidders (3 for each franchise) have now submitted their bids to the Department for Transport.

SMART and SHRUG managed to meet with representatives from all the bidders before the franchise deadline, to put across our aspirations for improved services, to demonstrate the case for improving services and to identify the challenges they would face in meeting passenger requirements (and in particular requirements relating to ensuring there is sufficient capacity on local services during peak hours, something which will require some imaginative thinking on their part).

We were generally impressed by the knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment of the people we met.

Of course, the bids are to be evaluated by the Department of Transport, who (it has been argued) don’t have the interests of passengers at small insignificant stations between Manchester and Leeds anywhere near the top of their list.

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