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Sunday, May 19, 2024

C2c handed 16-month extension

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National Express and the Department for Transport (DfT) have reached a deal to extend the operator’s c2c contract for 16 months.

The short-term contract will run out in 2014 at which point a longer franchise term is expected to be agreed.

The extension follows the publication of a new staggered franchise timetable in March – the result of a detailed review of the current highly-criticised franchise system.

By letting a series of short-term contracts, the DfT hopes to give itself time to prepare a “robust” long-term programme.

C2c managing director Julian Drury said: “National Express has been operating in the local community for more than a decade, and our customers know how much this service has changed since the days of the Misery Line.

“Over the next 16 months we aim to maintain our excellent punctuality record while delivering real improvements for passengers at our stations.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This is a vital step in getting our refranchising programme back on track.

“It gives the industry time to develop their long term plans for the future franchise and confidence to passengers that services will continue for the next 16 months.

“I am determined to ensure that when we let the long term franchise the operator to delivers significant benefits to passengers and tax payers alike.”

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