Lord Bradshaw – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Bradshaw on 2015-12-02.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 18 November (HL3318), in the light of the fact that the franchise to Virgin Stagecoach for the East Coast Main Line specified five additional services between Lincoln and London each day, whether there are any immediate steps that can be taken, either directly or via Newark North Gate, to improve the present service.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The additional Lincoln services have been contracted by the Department to run from May 2019, because at that time the new IEP rolling stock and infrastructure enhancements (subject to the ORR granting the necessary rights) will enable Virgin Trains East Coast to operate these additional services.

However, Franchise Agreements state the minimum service provision of the train operator, and if the train operator believes that the demand exists for more services than are stipulated and they have the rolling stock, staff availability and they can obtain the required track access rights, there is nothing to stop them from running more services.

The Government believes that Train Operators are better placed to respond to the changing demands of their customers in the creation of train services.