The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Randerson on 2016-06-29.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what research or analysis they undertook prior to consulting on proposals to cut train services to intermediate stations on the InterCity West Coast service.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Rail services between London and the Midlands are currently provided by the West Midlands and InterCity West Coast franchises. These franchises are due be replaced when they expire in October 2017 and April 2018 respectively. The Department has completed a consultation in respect of the replacement West Midlands franchise, and commenced another in respect of InterCity West Coast in May. The outcomes of those consultations will be used to inform what we ask the operator of the new franchise to provide. This information, including the key challenges and opportunities that the Department has identified for those franchises, will be published in due course.
Neither consultation proposed cutting train services. We expect potential bidders to plan their train services to meet the needs of passengers at the stations they serve considering how best to serve and link markets and improve service reliability. To make sure their plans best reflect the needs of the franchise we are seeking views from the public and stakeholders on the ICWC franchise on:
- any direct journeys currently provided by ICWC that they would want to see protected at a minimum level; and
- priorities for potential changes to train services, such as speeding up service for long-distance passengers, for example by changing stops at low-use stations or adjusting the level of service.