HS2

28.06.16

DfT to publish South Western ITT at start of July

The South Western franchise invitation to tender (ITT) is expected to be published at the start of July, the rail minister Claire Perry has said.

The ITT was issued to the bidders on 9 June, and in the last few weeks MTR formed a joint venture with FirstGroup to compete against current operators Stagecoach.

MTR withdrew from its bid for the West Midlands franchise last week, meaning that two major franchise bids are down to just two competitors.

Perry said she expected the South Western bidding process to stay on schedule with the contract award due in February 2017, allowing for the new franchise to start in June 2017.

In its recent submission to the Transport Select Committee’s inquiry on rail franchising, the Rail Delivery Group warned that franchise bidders could be discouraged by the costs of the process, which can now reach as much as £10m.

The DfT published its timetable for franchising for the next 10 years, covering TSGN, Chiltern, TransPennine Express, East Coast, Northern and East Anglia, last month.

(Image c. Alvey and Towers)

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