26 SEPTEMBER 2016
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Two speakers at Waterfront’s Rail Industry Forum (London, 14 September) gave an upbeat view of regional devolution writes Andrew Sharp.
Aidan Grisewood (Transport Scotland) said that while rail performance had declined in Scotland recently, both implementation and customer satisfaction were still above levels in England and Wales.
The franchise specification had included a key performance indicator of customer satisfaction. Franchise bidders were told that points would be allocated for intermodal integration. Although deregulated bus services made integration difficult, Abellio, the winner, had responded well especially in terms of travel planning apps and cycle parking hubs.
Malcolm Holmes, West Midlands Rail (WMR), said that early indications were that devolution was a success. WMR had taken over management of Wolverhampton station to improve interchange: there is a new bus station nearby and the tram system is being extended to it. There was an aspiration for multimodal branding as in London. He commented that train operators only got together for timetable planning: this was not the ideal forum for securing earlier and later services to Birmingham Airport, something requested in the franchise consultation but not reflected in the Invitation to Tender.
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