11th May 2012In this issue:
Industry developments this week
Northern Rail has been granted a six month extension to its franchise, meaning it will run services until 1 April 2014. Transport Briefing
The Times ran an analysis of rail franchising, pointing out that every service apart from Chiltern Railways will have been retendered within five years.
- The Times story was accompanied by a graphical representation of the franchising process.
A prominent London Assembly member has warned Tube and rail passengers on Oyster cards will be “ripped off” this summer as millions of extra people using it during the Olympic Games. Financial Times
A satirical piece in Railway Eye “congratulates” the Office of Rail Regulation on recent proposals aimed at reforming Network Rail access charges, which it says will apply to around 10 percent of rail traffic.
New rail services
The Scottish transport minister has urged newly re-elected Londonmayor Boris Johnson to push for a high-speed rail link to Scotland. Press Association
- The DfT insisted this week that High Speed 2 will still go ahead, despite reports that the project has been delayed. Birmingham Post
Heavy lifting cranes were brought in to clear a freight train which came off the line in the north east of Scotland. BBC News
More than 100 MPs have signed a Commons motion criticising Government proposals for the future of railways, warning of worsening services, higher fares and job cuts. Press Association
The Department for Transport has begun the withdraw “ghost train” services from three short stretches of railway line in west London. Transport Briefing
Holding group sharecheck
National Express plans to expand and launch intercity bus services in Germany if the market opens to private operators. Financial Times
Stagecoach has said profits over the coming year will at least hold steady despite a slight slowdown in UK sales growth. Press Association
Shares in FirstGroup sank 14 per cent in late March after a warning by the transport company that margins in its UK bus business would fall by more than a third this year. Financial Times
- The group has sought to reassure investors after issuing the profit warning, which it said relatedto an “unacceptable” performance from its 8,000-vehicle UK bus business. Transport Briefing
Go-Ahead started making contributions to the Treasury’s funds from April after reporting strong growth in its rail division. Daily Telegraph
- Shares in the group rose by almost 5 per cent in late December after it raised full-year operating profit forecasts on the back of strong passenger growth at its rail franchises.