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Going our way_ The Great Western Route Utilisation ...

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Connecting Britain’s CitiesCross Country Franchise Consultation, 2018Christopher Irwin, Director, TravelWatch SouthWest CIC
TravelWatch SouthWest WorkshopTaunton, 22ndJuly, 2018
Our starting points
TWSW collected franchise aspirations, 2015-17Connecting the Dotspublished October 2017The challengesOur visionOutcomes soughtEnabling delivery
The challenges
XC’s dual function:Inter-regional connectivityPlugging gaps in intra-regional service provisionLeading to uncompetitive journey times and longer-distance journeys blighted by local over-crowding (e.g. Exeter-Bristol and Birmingham-York) and ‘churn’TWSW identified scope for coordinated approach to future service provision
Unfreezing history
Great WesternLast franchise contest 2005/6Direct awards in 2013 and 2015Premium to HMG: 1.5p per passenger kilometre in 2015/6New franchise starts:April 2020
CrossCountryLast franchise contest 2007Direct award in 2016Premium to HMG: 2.2p per passenger kilometre in 2015/6New franchise starts:December 2019<>October2020
The challenges
XC’s dual function:TWSW identified scope for coordinated approach to future service provisionBig growth in travel demand to neighbouring regions; slump in travel demand to more distant destinationsXC specification should reflect changed demand
Passenger growth to/from SW
Rail out-performed by low cost airlines(There are 20 air passengers between the SW & Scotland to every 1 by rail)
The challenges
XC’s dual function:TWSW identified scope for coordinated approach to future service provisionMedium-distance boom, longer-distance slump:XC specification should reflect changed demandBig changes in railway geography imminent:Deriving benefit from HS2Impact of Old Oak Common super-hub on flowsSignificant ECML frequency enhancements N of YorkNew regional governance for rail (e.g. WMR,TfN)Opportunity to serve old markets better and additional markets anew
The vision
“XC should, as far as possible, be a fast InterCity service, adapting to the changing demand s of inter-regional (non-London) passenger flows”InterCity services should not be local service auxiliaries to the disadvantage of inter-regional connectivity, service quality and journey timesThe next generation of XC rolling stock must be equipped to run over both the ‘classic’ network and HS2 and its further extensions
The outcomes sought
Increased frequencies on those parts of the InterCity network avoiding London where potential demand is greatest for long-distance, end-to-end journey opportunitiesAn additional offering with significantly improved journey times between principal hubs on Bristol-Birmingham-York trunkImproved connectivity with other franchisees at hubs through improved timetabling and platform arrangementsRolling-stock designed around passenger needs: including assured seating, suited to longer-distance travel, with generous space for luggage storage in line of sight and work-enabling facilities
Enabling delivery - 1
Service aspirations:TWSW consolidated SW stakeholders’ service aspirations. Those for XC included hourly services calling principally:PLY-EXD-BRI-BPY-CNM-BHM-DBY-SHF-LDS-YRK with certain services extended to/from PNZ, NQY (summer), EDB and ABD.BRI-BPY-BHM-SOT-MCRPGN/EXD-TIV-TAU-BWT-BRI-BPY-CNM-WPY-BHM-WVH-STA-SOT-MAC-SPT-MCRBRI-BPY-CNM-WPY-BHM-TAM-DBY-CHD-SHF-WKF-LDS-YRKCDF-NWP-LYD-GCR-CNM-ASC-WPY-UNI-BHM-TAM-BUT-DBY-LGE-BEE-NOTSWI-GCR-CNM-WPY-UNI-BHMn.b.: BMH-SOU-RDG-BHM not discussed
Enabling delivery - 2
Service quality:7-day railway to reflect changing societal demandsEmphasis on performance and reliability (including need for route knowledge of suitable diversionary routes)Demand for better coordinated timetable planning between operators, particular on common route sections and at major hubsXC’s APOD is an irritant, putting-off infrequent passengersCriticism of franchise-specific tickets on common route sections
Enabling delivery - 3
Rolling stock:Increased capacity, with seating suited to long-distance travel (space, cushioning), leisure market (window/seat alignment, tables, proximity and sufficiency of baggage storage), business market (tables, electronic connectivity)Stock should be equipped to run on both ‘classic’ routes and HS2 and extensions and ‘weather-proofed’ for Dawlish sea-wall running.
Enabling delivery - 4
Other specifications:West Midlands Rail, Transport for the North et al should be required to address any local service provision issues arising from XC being refocussed on InterCity service provisionIn the SW, GWR should be required to develop integrated timetabling with XC, notably on common route sections.
Some of the SW’s over-arching objectives
SupportsustainablegrowthMatch capacity togrowingdemandAchieve step-change insatisfaction: design services around users’ needsWork inpartnershipwith range of stakeholdersDeliver a service that isviable, bearable and equitable
Thank you!





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Going our way_ The Great Western Route Utilisation ...